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News > India

India: World's Longest Highway Tunnel Opens

  • A group of local people take a photograph at the Atal Tunnel after its inauguration in Rohtang near Manali in Himachal Pradesh, India, 03 October 2020.

    A group of local people take a photograph at the Atal Tunnel after its inauguration in Rohtang near Manali in Himachal Pradesh, India, 03 October 2020. | Photo: EFE/EPA/ Sanjay Baid

Published 4 October 2020
Opinion

The 9.2km tunnel links the resort town of Manali with the Lahaul-Spiti valley, which otherwise would be inaccessible.

The world's longest highway tunnel officially opened on Saturday in Himachal Pradesh, India, the infrastructure represents a milestone in transport development technology and is located on side of the Himalayas, at 3,000 meters above sea level.

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The Atal tunnel's project took 10 years to complete and it was designed for a traffic density of 3,000 cars and 1,000 trucks per day at 80 km/h. Also, the tunnel is equipped with the latest technological advances including semi-transverse ventilation systems.

After participating in the inauguration, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said via Twitter that "the Atal Tunnel is a game-changing infrastructure project that will help several citizens." Besides, "with this project comes several economic benefits, particularly for agriculture and tourism," the official added.

The 9.2km tunnel links the resort town of Manali with the Lahaul-Spiti valley, which otherwise would be inaccessible since the valley has to close for six months every year because of the heavy rainfall.

Furthermore, the tunnel reduces the road distance by 46km as well as the travel time by four to six hours. The authorities explained that the infrastructure has an entry every 500 meters so people can be rescued speedily in case of an emergency.

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