Our 2020 travel bucket is already on the rise but, who can blame us when iconic spots are emerging at the drop of a hat. The world’s longest mountain tunnel above 3,000 meters is coming up in our very own India. We can’t wait to get a whiff of this one. On 25th December 1924, a Prime Minister was born. The country celebrated Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 95th birth anniversary in 2019 by fulfilling a task assigned by him. A strategic tunnel Atal Rohtang under the famous Rohtang Pass is set to reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km. Guess who it’s named after?
What is it
The 8.8 km long tunnel will be completed by 2020. It’s a ₹4,000-crore project undertaken by the Border Roads Organisation. Atal Tunnel is a 10.5 m-wide single tube including a 1-meter footpath on both sides. There’s also a fireproof emergency tunnel built into the main bi-lane tunnel. Up to 3,000 cars and 1,500 trucks are expected to use the tunnel every day. The speed limit inside the tunnel is capped at 80 kmph.
The world’s longest tunnel Atal Rohtang at such a height will provide all weather connectivity to remote areas like Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh remain cut off from the rest of the country for about six months during winters. PM Modi says this tunnel will change the fortunes of the people of Leh, Ladakh and Kargil.
The Atal Rohtang was announced by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. He was a frequent visitor of Manali. This tunnel has been received as a tribute to him. The project was ambitious from the start. The Border Roads Organisation had to overcome many challenges like difficult terrain and weather. The 587-metre in the Seri Nalah Fault Zone was particularly laborious. Atal Tunnel connecting Manali to Leh, Ladakh and Jammu Kashmir is expected to boost tourism.
Delhi getaways are going to be this much more fun in 2020. The new decade has already brought some good news and we are hopeful the trend continues. Add this to your travel list now!