Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday by travelling from South Portal of Atal Tunnel in Rohtang to the north Portal in Sissu Valley. Named in the memory of former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee, the Tunnel was constructed with the objective that it will drastically cut-down on the required time thereby simplifying to move the troops to remote border adjacent to China as tensions escalate between the two countries.
The tunnel, passing through Himachal Pradesh, is one of the longest highway tunnel which will shorten the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km.
Modi mentioned about the rising employment prospects with the connecting tunnel. “With the construction of Atal Tunnel, the farmers of Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi, people associated with horticulture, cattle-rearers, students and traders will benefit..,” PM stated, thereby that the tunnel “will connect the youth of this entire region with many employment opportunities.”
“Tunnel will help provide new markets for handicrafts, other products from Himachal’s Lahaul-Spiti region,” he further added.
Atal Tunnel is structured with ultra-modern specifications based on the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. Unlike the valley which was shut for six months in a year due to heavy snowfall, the tunnel will be accessible throughout the year.