Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the Atal Tunnel
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Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate Atal Tunnel, Rohtang at 10 AM on October 3, 2020.
Atal Tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in the World. The 9.02 Km long Tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. Earlier the valley was cut off for about 6 months each year owing to heavy snowfall.
The Tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3000 Mtrs (10,000 Feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL).
The Tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 Km between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours.
The South Portal (SP) of Atal Tunnel is located at a distance of 25 Km from Manali at an altitude of 3060 metres, while the North Portal (NP) of the Tunnel is located near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3071 metres.
It is horseshoe-shaped, single tube double lane tunnel with a roadway of 8 metres. It has an overhead clearance of 5.525 Metres.
It is 10.5-metre wide and has a 3.6 x 2.25 metres fireproof emergency egress tunnel built into the main Tunnel itself.
Atal Tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 3000 cars per day and 1500 trucks per day with a maximum speed of 80 km/hr.
It has state of the art electromechanical systems including semi transverse ventilation system, SCADA controlled fire-fighting, illumination and monitoring system.
The Tunnel has ample safety features built into it. Some of the key safety features are:-
Tunnel entry barriers at both portals.Telephone connections at every 150 metres for emergency communication. Fire hydrant mechanisms at every 60 metres. Auto incident detection system with CCTV cameras at every 250 metres. Air quality monitoring at every 1 Km. Evacuation lighting / exit signs at every 25 metres.Broadcasting system throughout the Tunnel.Fire-rated Dampers at every 50 metres.Cameras at every 60 metres.
The historic decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 3, 2000, when late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the Tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) worked relentlessly to overcome significant geological, terrain and weather challenges that included the most challenging stretch of the 587-metre Seri Nalah Fault Zone. The breakthrough from both ends was achieved on October 15, 2017.
The Union Cabinet met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 24, 2019, and decided to name the Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel to honour the contribution made by the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
After attending the inauguration function of the Atal Tunnel at South Portal, Manali, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shall be participating in public functions at Sissu in Lahaul Spiti and Solang Valley.