Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday attended a webinar on Atal Rohtang Tunnel organized by Border Road Organization (BRO). Lauding the efforts of the BRO engineers, Rajnath Singh said that despite the adverse conditions the country faced last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the engineers intensified their speed and completed the project on time.
Pointing towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message on Atal Tunnel inauguration that there should be documentation of those who helped in this project, Rajnath Singh said, "such ambitious projects are not only built on bricks and stones and budget but the pride inside us for the nation keeps us motivated."
Remembering inspiring figures like Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh who never let Indians accept defeat, the Defence Minister said, ''our brave army men have given their sacrifice for this project." Asserting that even after independence, the development and connectivity were completely stalled, he said that Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee always paid due attention to border areas development.
Stating that now PM Modi is carrying forward the task of development of border areas, Rajnath Singh said, "now future of these places shall be developed by tourism and economic development because the government is committed to developing other areas as well." Asserting that BRO is playing a very important role, he congratulated the DG and the team. "Infrastructure development is a very serious challenge, " he added.
The Defence Minister of India also informed that even in defence, DRDO is working and the government and has now opened up the way for private industries. Suggesting that engineering and science have a rich and glorious future, he urged the youths of the country to get into nation-building process.
Atal Rohtang tunnel has been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Vajpayee had first announced the project back in June 3, 2000, after which the project faced several challenges owing to the sensitive terrain of the region. Built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the 9.2-km Atal tunnel is the world’s longest tunnel situated above an altitude of 3,000 metres. It is said to reduce the travel time between Manali and Leh by nearly 46 kms which amounts to 4.5 hours. The Atal tunnel is also said to open up new opportunities for tourism in the tribal district.
It is a 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 traffic density of 3,000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day with a max speed of 80 km per hour.
Inauguration of Atal Tunnel is testament to determination of executing team: Rajnath Singh