In what can be termed as the world’s longest highway construction of its kind, the All-weather Atal Tunnel, 9.02 km long, horseshoe-shaped, single tube double lane tunnel with a road of10.5 meter wide, built at an estimated cost of Rs. 3,500 crore in Himachal Pradesh will shorten the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km and reduce the driving time by about seven hours was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today. About 3000 cars and 1500 trucks can pass through with a maximum speed of 80 km/hr.
Narrating the moment as a “historic day” and one that heralded the realization of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s dream – the tunnel has been named after him – PM Modi said the tunnel would strengthen India’s border infrastructure. Named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, this tunnel will give new strength to India’s border infrastructure. Indeed it is a classic example of world-class border connectivity. Apart from facilitating a connection to Himachal, this tunnel will cut down travel time by four to five hours for those people living in the mountains, Modi said in his inaugural speech.
Described as the rarest highway construction of its kind in the world (above 10,000 feet), with ultra-modern specifications and various security features such as CCTV cameras, telephone connections at every 150 meters for any emergency, fire hydrant mechanism at every 60 meters, and auto incident detection system at an altitude of 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) in the Pir Panjal.
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