Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur speaking to ANI in Manali on Friday. [Photo/ANI]
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur speaking to ANI in Manali on Friday. [Photo/ANI]

Set for Atal Tunnel inauguration, PM Modi to arrive tomorrow: Jairam Thakur

ANI | Updated: Oct 02, 2020 13:51 IST

Manali (Himachal Pradesh) [India], October 2 (ANI): All preparations have been completed for the inauguration of the Atal Tunnel, the world's longest highway tunnel, on October 3, said Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the tunnel in Rohtang on October 3, at 10 am.
"We have made all preparations and we are waiting for the Prime Minister. Defence Minister will arrive here today and Prime Minister will arrive tomorrow. It's a moment of joy for the people of Himachal Pradesh. This is a historical moment," Thakur told reporters here.
The Chief Minister said that the tunnel holds great significance in the light of the situation with neighbouring countries and added that it is not only significant from a national security point of view but will also be very helpful for the commute of the people.
"Around 200 people will be present at the event. Prime Minister is sending out a message that how close Himachal is to his heart. He is appearing physically for a development project after seven months," Thakur said.
"We wanted to have a huge inauguration event. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only a small event is being organised. The tunnel will also send a strong message from a border security point of view," he added.

The Chief Minister said that that Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will monitor the tunnel and the State government will deploy police protection on both ends of the tunnel to ensure safety and security.
The tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL). The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 Kms between Manali and Leh and the time by about five to six hours.
The South Portal (SP) of the Atal Tunnel is located at a distance of 25 Km from Manali at an altitude of 3,060 meters, while the North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is located near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3,071 meters.
It is horseshoe-shaped, single tube double lane tunnel with a roadway of 8 meters. It has an overhead clearance of 5.525 meters. It is 10.5-metre wide and has a 3.6 x 2.25 meters fireproof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself.
Atal Tunnel has been designed for the traffic density of 3,000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day with a max speed of 80 km per hour. It has a state-of-the-art electromechanical system including semi transverse ventilation system, SCADA controlled firefighting, illumination and monitoring system.
The tunnel has ample safety features built into it. Some of the key safety features includes -- entry barriers at both portals, telephone connections at every 150 meters for emergency communication, fire hydrant mechanisms at every 60 meters, auto incident detection system with CCTV cameras at every 250 meters, air quality monitoring at every 1 Km, evacuation lighting or exit signs at every 25 meters, broadcasting system throughout the tunnel, fire-rated Dampers at every 50 meters and also has cameras at every 60 meters.
The historic decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 3, 2000, when late Atal Bihari 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. (ANI)