The tunnel will provide an alternative route for the movement of army convoys and supplies to border areas

A five-member Board of Officers (BOO), constituted to ensure the safety of the 8.8-km Atal Rohtang Tunnel, is set to visit Jammu and Kashmir and see the arrangements made by police for Jawahar Tunnel (Banihal) and Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee Tunnel (Chenani-Nashri).

The Rohtang Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh will prove to be crucial for defense forces as it will provide an alternative route for the movement of Army convoys and supply of essential items to border areas, said a report by The Tribune.

The tunnel is likely to be opened between September and October, the report said.

After the visit, BOO has been directed to submit a report by September 14.

The Tribune report quoted Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu saying, “The tunnel will also open the hitherto unexplored areas of Lahaul and Spiti to tourism, which will bring in a huge rush of tourists. So proper planning and security arrangement should be in place.”

Kundu further said that the best practices followed in similar road tunnel projects in the Swiss Alps, China, Japan, and Pakistan will be studied to see if they are compatible with their needs. He pointed out a need for a fool-proof template to be proposed for the tunnel; the report said.

A back-up for contingencies like crash evacuation, fire contingencies, ambulance services, and trauma management, tunnel-related emergencies like caving-in, water pipe bursting, and gas-release sabotage contingencies will be provided along with identification of land parcel for new police stations, the report said.

The anti-terror component and counter-espionage apparatus will also be part of the security plan, said the report.

Read the full report in The Tribune