PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate Atal tunnel connecting Manali with Lahaul Spiti Valley

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Atal tunnel
Atal tunnel

Manali : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating the 9.02 km long Atal tunnel connecting Manali to Lahaul Spiti valley on Saturday. The commuters will now be able to use it throughout the year unlike earlier times when roads used to get closed during snowfalls.

The 9.02km long 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 total travel time between Spiti valley and Manali has been reduced by around 4-5 hours are travel distance has come down to 46 kms, according to a statement released by PMO.

It is a horseshoe-shaped, single tube double lane tunnel with a roadway of 8 metres and an overhead clearance of 5.525 metres, the statement added.

The tunnel has been designed to accomodate 3,000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day with a maximum speed of 80 km/hr. It has been fitted with several safety measures to ensure a smooth and trouble free experience.

Entry barriers at both north and south portals, telephone connections at every 150 metres, fire hydrant mechanisms at every 60 metres, air quality monitoring, CCTV cameras, evacuation lighting and exit signs at every 25 metres and broadcasting system throughout the stretch are some of the key safety features built into the Atal Tunnel.

On June 3, 2000, under the Prime Ministership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the decision was taken to construct the tunnel. The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002, the PMO said. However, in 2019 the Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of PM Modi resolved to name the Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel in honour of the former prime minister.

After attending the inauguration function at South Portal, Manali, Modi will participate in public functions at Sissu in Lahaul Spiti and at Solang Valley, PMO said.