Strategic Atal Tunnel in the Pir Panjal ranges of Himachal Pradesh will be commissioned as per schedule in September this year.
Proactive measures are being taken by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to complete the work on the Tunnel which is at the crucial stage of construction, an official release said on Tuesday.
Road surface works, installation of electro-mechanic fittings including lighting, ventilation and intelligent traffic control systems are being executed. One steel super structure bridge of 100 meter length across river Chandra on the North Portal of the tunnel is also under construction. The work was halted for 10 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Director General Border Roads Lt Gen Harpal Singh had taken up the matter with Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. This resulted in resumption of work on April five with on-site labour in active coordination with the State Government. Works in Atal Tunnel are being executed with all necessary COVID-19 precautions in place to ensure its completion in September.
Atal Tunnel is being constructed since Manali-Sarchu-Leh road remains closed for six months every year due to Rohtang Pass being completely snow bound between November and May. The tunnel will connect Manali to Lahaul Valley throughout the year and will reduce the road length of Manali-Rohtang Pass Sarchu-Leh road by 46 kilometres. Besides connecting the people of Lahual to rest of India through the year the tunnel will aid the forward connectivity offering the security forces a major strategic advantage.