Atal Tunnel: Longest Highway Tunnel

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    In News

    • Atal Tunnel has officially been certified by the World Book of Records as the ‘World’s Longest Highway Tunnel above 10,000 Feet’.
      • World Book of Records, UK, is an organisation that catalogues and verifies extraordinary records across the world with authentic certification.

    About Atal Tunnel

    • Atal Tunnel is the longest highway single-tube tunnel above 10,000 feet (3,048 m) in the world and is named after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
    • It is a 9.02 km long, strategically significant Tunnel that runs under the ‘Rohtang Pass’ that was constructed on the Manali – Leh Highway.
    • Constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
    • It cuts through a mountain west of the Rohtang pass and shortens the distance between Solang Valley and Sissu by around 46 km. 

    Significance

    • Distance: It has reduced the distance on Manali – Sarchu road by 46 km and travel time by four to five hours, providing all-weather connectivity on the Manali – Leh axis.
    • Strategic Importance: The tunnel provides a strategic advantage to the country’s armed forces by providing year-long connectivity to border areas. It will save an entire day for troops and supplies as they move towards forwarding posts.
    • Boon to Residents & tourists: The tunnel will be a boon to the residents of the Lahaul and Spiti Valley who remain cut off from the rest of the country in winters for nearly six months due to heavy snowfall.

    Source: TOI