Atal Rohtang tunnel is the world's longest mountain tunnel, dedicated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The world's longest mountain tunnel under the Rohtang Pass situated in Himachal Pradesh has been named the Atal Rohtang tunnel by the Government. The decision to name the pass after the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was done in the Cabinet meeting headed by the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a tribute on the former's 95th birth anniversary. This strategically placed 8.8km tunnel runs between Leh and Manali was built at a budget of Rs 2,000 crore.
The Atal Rohtang tunnel that is situated at an altitude of 3,000 metres has reduced the travel distance of 46km and also the travel time by five hours. The government mentions that once the tunnel is brought into complete operation, it will offer all-weather connectivity to even the remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh, Spiti valley, Lahaul and Ladakh which are almost inaccessible in the winter regions for over six months. Other than the tunnel, the other route to Leh is through the Zoji La pass on the Srinagar-Drass-Kargil-Leh highway which also gets blocked by snow for nearly four months in a year. There are also plans of construction of a 14 km long tunnel under Zoji La pass has been planned. It is being said that these two routes will play an important role to feed military supplies into military sub-sector in the west facing Aksai Chin and the Siachen Glacier.
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"Those day, I was working for my party organization and was closely associated with its preparations. I never thought I would have the honour to dedicate it to the nation," commented, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also added, 'This is a gift to the people of Himachal Pradesh on the occasion of Vajpayee-ji's birthday. The Atal tunnel is a national tunnel of great importance both from the point of view of tourism and national security,"