New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi ]on Saturday inaugurated the strategically important Atal Tunnel at Rohtang in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. The newly built 9.02 km long tunnel, is dubbed as the world's longest highway tunnel built at an altitude of 3,000 metres. 

The newly built Atal Tunnel, named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is a strategic tunnel which will connect Manali to Lahaul-Spiti Valley in Ladakh.

The 9.03 kilometres long tunnel will is situated under the 3.9 kilometres Rohtang Pass in the Pir Panjal range. The Atal Tunnel will provide 'all-weather connectivity to Ladakh, which gets cut-off from the whole country for nearly six months because of heavy snowfall.

How will the Atal Tunnel benefit India

The Atal Tunnel, a horseshoe-shaped single-tube and double-lane tunnel, is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas which is at an altitude of 10,000 feet from the seal level. The central government has said that the Atal Tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh to 46 kilometres.

According to the government, the Atal Tunnel has a 5.52 metre overhead clearance and has a 3.6 x 2.25-metre fireproof emergency egress tunnel for any kind of emergency.

It will provide India with a military advantage as it will allow the Indian Army to send troops and maintain supplies in the Ladakh region throughout the year.

The central government believes that the Atal Tunnel will also boost employment opportunities in Ladakh and promote tourism in Lahaul-Spiti

What about the key features of Atal Tunnel

The government has said that the Atal Tunnel will have a broadcasting system and automatic incident detection system with CCTV cameras in every 250 metres, adding that vehicles will be allowed to travel in the tunnel at 80 kilometres per hour.

For safety purposes, the Atal Tunnel will have an emergency exit in every 500 metres. It will also have an air quality monitoring system in every one kilometre

The government says that the Atal Tunnel will be used by over 1,500 trucks and buses and nearly 3,000 cars every day once the COVID-19-induced restrictions are lifted completely.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma