Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Atal Tunnel. The world’s longest highway tunnel, Atal Tunnel is 9.02 kilomteres long and is built to connect Manali in Himachal Pradesh to Lahaul-Spiti throughout the year. Atal Tunnel will allow locals and tourists to visit the snowy beauties anytime of the year. Currently, the area remains cut off for tourists owing to heavy snowfall and inclement weather conditions. The Prime Minister said, “Atal Tunnel will connect the youth of this entire region with many employment opportunities.” He further added, “Atal Tunnel will also boost border security.”

During his inauguration speech, Prime Minister also requested the Ministry of Education that the students of engineering & technical studies related universities should be given a chance to do a case study of Atal Tunnel. “The students must learn how this tunnel was built”, said Narendra Modi

The Man Behind The Idea of Atal Tunnel

Atal Tunnel project was announced by then Prime Minister Shree Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. The construction work was entrusted to BRO in 2002 and the foundation stone was laid by Sonia Gandhi in 2008. Atal Tunnel is built under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern PirPanjal range. 

Till 2013-2014, progress was made only on 1,300 meters of this tunnel. After 2014, the project progressed with unprecedented pace. Experts pointed out that if the construction of the tunnel were carried out at the same pace, it would have been completed only in 2040. Bhartiya Janta Party took the work in its own hands and completed the Atal Tunnel construction work within 6 years.

The longest highway tunnel is an engineering delight and is set to reduce road distance by 46 kilometres between Leh and Manali. Atal tunnel will also reduce the journey time by nearly 4 to 5 hours. 

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