The Rohtang Tunnel, which will connect Manali in Himachal Pradesh with Leh, Ladakh, will be known as Atal Tunnel.
LOCATION OF THE TUNNEL- It is located under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas.
PROJECT IN-CHARGE – The Border Roads Organization (BRO) is the overall in-charge of the project.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TUNNEL- Upon completion, 8.8 km long tunnel, at an altitude of above 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) – It is a 10.5 meter wide. Single tube vehicles will travel at a maximum speed of 80 km per hour inside the tunnel. DO YOU KNOW that the foundation stone for the tunnel was laid on 28 June 2010.
In winters, connectivity used to get disrupt on this route connecting Lahaul – Spiti ( Himachal Pradesh) to Leh (Ladakh ) which was a sole and significant route to reach Leh.
Rohtang tunnel which is the longest tunnel at such altitude will provide all-weather connectivity.
Why it is important for India?
India and China have a dispute on Aksai- chin region which was unfortunately occupied in Indo- China war 1962. China is developing infrastructure and road that covers Aksai – Chin region which is an inseparable part of India. On the other hand, China and Pakistan are constructing roads under China- Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC)which connects the Gwadar port of Pakistan to the Kashgar region of China. This route passes through Gilgit-Baltistan region of India but Pakistan claims it as PoK region. Such activities are attacked on India’s sovereignty and integrity.
Winters make difficult to reach farther regions like Siachen glacier, Kargil region, etc. This project will definitely help India to resolve accessibility issues which were one of the reasons that China could control Aksai – Chin.