Atal Tunnel, world’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet, completed and ready for use
The tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km, saving four hours of travel time
The world’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet, the Atal Tunnel which connects Manali with Leh, is now ready for use. The project took 10 years for completion, according to Chief Engineer KP Purushothaman. He said the tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km, saving four hours of travel time.
According to a report by LiveMint, Purushothaman said there are CCTV cameras at every 60 meters and emergency exit tunnels at every 500 meters inside the tunnel. Fire hydrants have also been installed in case of a fire emergency.
“We did face a lot of challenges but together were able to complete its construction,” the chief engineer said. “The tunnel’s width is 10.5 meters, including a footpath of one meter on both sides.” Colonel Parikshit Mehra, Director Atal Tunnel project was quoted saying that many experts working within the team were of the opinion to change the alignment of the tunnel.
“We have had this dream to connect Leh and this was the first step to the connectivity ladder. This tunnel was a challenging project because we were working only from two ends. The other end was in North, across the Rohtang Pass which was accessible only for around five months in a year,” he said.