Atal Tunnel: World’s Longest Highway Tunnel Brings Manali And Leh Closer
By: Sneha Chaudhary
- Longest Highway Tunnel In The World
- Connecting Manali to Lahaul Spiti Valley Throughout The Year
- Earlier The Spiti Valley Was Cut Off For About Six Months Every Year Due To Heavy Snowfall.
It is the longest highway tunnel in the entire world. Also, this project aims to boost tourism in the region and will give the armed forces quicker access to Ladakh.
Strategically it is being noticed that the tunnel is 9.02KMlong and it connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. The valley was cut off for about six months every year due to heavy snowfall.
- A feasibility study about Atal Tunnel was first done in 1990 to access the road to the south portal of the tunnel and the foundation stone was laid on May 6, 2002. In 2010 and 2017 first and the last blast took place, respectively. Construction of the tunnel was drilled and blasted by NATM (New Austria Tunnelling Method) techniques.
- Specification of the tunnel is built with ultra-modern Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3000 meters (10,000 feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL). Reaching the final stage in the last ten years. The Border Roads Organization works hard to put in the efforts.
- The South Portal (SP) of the Atal Tunnel is located at a distance of 25 km from Manali at an altitude of 3,060 meters. In contrast, the North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is located near the village Telling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3,071 Metres.
Prime Minister, taking priorities of the “Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee” government decided to construct the strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass on June 3, 2000. The Modi government decided to name the Rohtang Tunnel as ‘Atal Tunnel’ in December 2019 to honor the former Prime Minister who had passed away the previous year.
Officials said that the Border Roads Organisation worked day and night to fight major geological, terrain, and weather challenges that included the most challenging stretch of the 587-meter Seri Nalah Fault Zone. The breakthrough from both ends was achieved on October 15, 2017.