PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel, which reduces the road distance between Manali and Leh by 46km and travel time by 4 to 5 hours. The tunnel is 9.02km long and it connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley. He mentioned that they realized Atal Bihari Vajpayee's dream as well as ended the decades-long wait of the people of Himachal Pradesh.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by defense minister Rajnath Singh, chief of defense 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.
The tunnel will remain open throughout the year. it has made the life easier for the people of Leh-Ladakh as the valley used to be cut off for about 6 months every year amid heavy snowfall. The tunnels will also strengthen the border infrastructure of the country, as said by PM Modi.
The tunnel has been built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 meters from the mean sea level. The single tube double lane tunnel with a roadway of 8 meters and an overhead clearance of 5.525 meters is horse-shoe shaped and has been designed for a traffic density of 3,000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day with a maximum speed of 80 km/hr, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office. Border areas connectivity is directly related to security issues.