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ATAL tunnel

Facts about Atal Tunnel, Manali

The Atal tunnel is built in Himachal Pradesh under Rohtang Pass and is also called the Rohtang Tunnel. Here are some facts about this road marvel that has reduced the distance of Manali from Ladakh primarily.

  1. Atal tunnel has a length of 9.02 km, making it the highest highway single-tube tunnel above 10,000 feet (3,048m).
  2. The tunnel has two lanes, one is for vehicles both ways and one is for self trek/walk. The operating Speed is between 40-60 kmph with a width of 10 metres (33ft).
  3. The tunnel is constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 3,500 crore. It has shortened the distance between Manali and Leh as well as Lahaul and Spiti by 46 kms and the drive time by around seven hours.
  4. The project was announced by the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in June 2000. The work was entrusted to BRO in May 2002. The foundation stone of the project was laid in June 2010 by Sonia Gandhi in her capacity as the chairperson of National Advisory Council. In October 2020, the tunnel was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi.
  5.  Temperature variation in the area is between 0 to 20 degrees in May and negative during December-January.

    6.  Tunnel boring machines were not not used because of the inability to see inside the mountain, instead blasting and digging used to build the tunnel. 

7. It is a highway tunnel in the Pir Pranjal range of the Himalayas on National Highway 3.

8. The tunnel is shaped like a horseshoe and has semi-transverse ventilation.

9. The tunnel has telephone facilities every 150 metres, a fire hydrant at every 60 metres, emergency exits at every 500 metres, it has air quality checks throughout as well as broadcasting and automatic incident detection system with CCTV cameras at every 250 metres.

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