Lahaul (Himachal Pradesh) [India], October 3 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Saturday said that the Atal Tunnel will help draw tourists from across the world in Lahaul, giving a major boost to the economy of the region.
"We are planning on how to connect Atal Tunnel and tourism. It will help bring tourists from around the world to the Lahaul valley. It will help improve the economy of the region," Thakur said at a public rally here.
The Chief Minister thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre for the Atal Tunnel, stating that the Prime Minister was aware of the region, and the problems faced by its people.
"The completion of this tunnel is nothing short of a dream for us. The Prime Minister knows about every nook and corner, and its problems, of Himachal Pradesh. He has always strived for pushing the state on the path of progress. While working as a worker in the organisation, he had kept on making the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee aware of the problems of the people," he said.
"He (PM Modi) had time and again pushed the proposal of the tunnel infront of Atal ji, as a result of which he had then agreed to it," Thakur said.
Apart from Prime Minister Modi, and the Himachal Chief Minister, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State Anurag Thakur, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane were also present at the inaugration ceremony of the tunnel, which was held today.
The tunnel will ensure movement throughout the year. Earlier, the Valley was cut off for about six months each year owing to heavy snowfall. The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 kilometres between Manali and Leh and the time by about four to five hours. (ANI)