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PM Modi To Inaugurate World's Longest Tunnel On Saturday
NEW DELHI || A big moment awaits India as prime minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Atal Tunnel - the longest highway tunnel anywhere in the world, on Saturday. The 9.02 Km long tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley and will be operational throughout the year.
The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 Kms between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours. Earlier the valley used to be severed for about 6 months each year due to snowfall and weather disturbances in the region.
The horse-shoe shaped tunnel is built at an altitude of 10,000 feet in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas and has ultra-modern specifications and has single tube double lane tunnel with a roadway of 8 metres and an overhead clearance of 5.525 metres.
It is 10.5-metre wide and has a 3.6 x 2.25 meters and has fire proof emergency tunnel built into the main tunnel itself. It can handle a traffic density of 3000 cars per day and 1500 trucks per day with max speed of 80 km/hr.
The decision to construct this strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 3, 2000 in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and hence has been rightfully named after him.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) worked relentlessly to overcome major geological, terrain and weather challenges that included the most difficult stretch of the 587-metre Seri Nalah Fault Zone. The breakthrough from both ends was achieved on October 15, 2017.