Atal tunnel inauguration: A benefit for common people and Army, says PM Modi

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Atal Tunnel now open
Atal Tunnel now open

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Atal tunnel on Manali-Lahaul Spiti Valley road. He said that the dream of former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and several Himachal Pradesh people is now fulfilled.

The new 9.02 km long Manali-Lahaul Spiti Valley tunnel will cut short a total travel distance by 47 kms and reduce a travel time of upto 4-5 hours.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by defence minister Rajnath Singh, chief of defence staff Bipin Rawat, chief minister Jairam Thakur, Union minister of state for finance and corporate affairs Anurag Singh Thakur and the Border Road Organisation’s director general Lt Gen Harpal Singh at the inauguration ceremony.

During the inauguration ceremony, PM Narendra Modi mentioned that it will be a lifeline for the people of Leh-Ladakh as this will remain open for whole year. Earlier, the path used to get closed for around six months amid heavy snowfall.

The strategically important tunnel will also strengthen the country’s border infrastructure, Modi emphasised. “Be it bridges, tunnels, or road construction, development of border infrastructure will not only benefit the common man but also help the military,” he said.

The tunnel has been built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 metres from the mean sea level.

The Prime Minister also informed that work on another bridge Kosi Mahasetu, the foundation of which was laid by Vajpayee in Bihar, has been expedited since 2014 as the Modi government came into power.