Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel
Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel

Atal tunnel will be a boon to tourism: Prahlad Singh Patel

ANI | Updated: Dec 25, 2019 22:42 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 25 (ANI): Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Wednesday said that the Atal tunnel would prove to be a boon for boosting tourism in Leh-Ladakh and Kargil.
Patel said world's longest tunnel above 3,000 metre also has military importance. "This tunnel will reduce the distance between Himachal Pradesh and Leh-Ladakh by 46 km. Most important, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this tunnel will prove to be a boon for tourism in the area."
He said PM Modi used to take part in the discussions on the project which was announced by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The decision to construct the strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 3, 2000, when Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002.
The 8.8-kilometre long tunnel is the world's longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres. It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres and save crores of rupees in transport costs. It is a 10.5-metre wide single tube bi-lane tunnel with a fire-proof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself.
The tunnel is now nearing completion and is a step in the direction of providing all weather connectivity to remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh which otherwise remained cut off from the rest of the country for about six months during winters.

The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday decided to honour the contribution of the former Prime Minister by naming the strategic tunnel under Rohtang Pass after him. (ANI)

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