In a bid to complete the construction work as per the schedule, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) obtained special permission from the state government of Himachal Pradesh.
Rohtang Tunnel Project update: Despite the ongoing nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the work on the strategic Rohtang Tunnel resumes! After being halted for a duration of 10 days, the development work on the strategic Rohtang Tunnel is now underway. In a bid to complete the construction work as per the schedule, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) obtained special permission from the state government of Himachal Pradesh. According to BRO officials quoted in an IE report, the work in the strategic Rohtang Tunnel was being executed with all necessary novel coronavirus precautions to ensure its completion in the month of September as planned.
The Rohtang Tunnel, which will be called Atal Tunnel once completed, named after former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is being constructed in the Pir Panjal range of Himachal Pradesh. This is because the Manali-Sarchu-Leh road is shut down for a period of six months in a year due to the Rohtang Pass being fully covered with snow between the months of November and May. According to BRO officials, the Rohtang Tunnel was in a critical stage of construction. Moreover, the development works including road surface works, installation of electro-mechanic fittings, including ventilation, lighting as well as Intelligent Traffic Control Systems were being executed.
Meanwhile, one steel super structure bridge is also under construction, which is of 100-meter length across the Chandra river on the North Portal of the Rohtang Tunnel. The approval to recommence the construction work on the Rohtang tunnel came after Lt Gen Harpal Singh, DG Border Roads, discussed the matter with Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. With the completion of the strategic Rohtang Tunnel, the distance between Manali and Leh will be reduced by a distance of 46 kilometres.
Also, the tunnel project will save crores of rupees in transport costs. Additionally, with this tunnel, all-weather connectivity will be provided to remote border areas of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. It will also give security forces a major strategic advantage, the report added.