The Atal tunnel is named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and it is the World’s longest highway tunnel. It took nearly about 20 years to function since the time of conception in 2000 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government with its foundation stone laying in 2002. On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 9.02 km-long Atal Tunnel in Rohtang, Himachal Pradesh.
The Atal Tunnel is pivotal for India from various contexts.
Here are some interesting facts about Atal tunnel:
1.This Atal tunnel is Built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), it is a 9.02 km long Atal tunnel and the world’s longest high-altitude highway tunnel.
2. The Atal Tunnel is beneficial in the prospect of reducing the travel time between Manali and Leh by nearly 46 Kms, hence it saves time about 4 to 5 hours.
3. The Atal Tunnel will have all-weather networking between Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley as earlier it was in discontinuation for six months this year due to heavy snowfall in that zone.
4. The Atal Tunnel has been outlined by keeping traffic density of 3,000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day with a max speed of 80 Km per hour.
5. The Atal Tunnel has a state-of-the-art electromechanical system including semi transverse ventilation system, SCADA controlled firefighting, illumination, and monitoring system.
6. The Atal tunnel is located at an elevation of 3000 meters (10,000 Feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL) in Rohtang Pass in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas and it is constructed with ultra-mode identification.
7.The Atal Tunnel will also hold symbolic meaning from a strategic point of view as it will bring the areas along with the LAC closer and it will be reachable all the time.
8. The Atal Tunnel is a horseshoe-shaped, single tube double lane tunnel with a roadway of 8 meters. Moreover, It has an overhead clearance of 5.525 meters, 10.5 meters wide, and has a 3.6 x 2.25 meters fireproof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself. significantly it is the first tunnel in India to have an escape tunnel within the main tunnel.
9. To maintain safety, the Atal Tunnel has entry barriers at both portals (north and south), telephone connections at every 150 meters, fire hydrant systems at every 60 meters, evacuation lighting, air quality monitoring every 1 km, and exit signs at every 25 meters, emergency exit at every 500 meters and broadcasting system and automatic incident detection system with CCTV cameras every 250 meters.
10. This tunnel is Built at a cost of around Rs 3,300 crore while making this tunnel BRO had to face various challenges including weather, terrain, and geological constraints to build the tunnel.