Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who travelled from the South Portal of Atal Tunnel in Rohtang to the North Portal in Sissu of Lahaul Valley after its inauguration on Saturday, said it is a historic day for the residents of the area as they will benefit in many ways.
“With the construction of Atal Tunnel, the farmers of Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi, people associated with horticulture, cattle-rearers, students and traders will benefit,” he said during his address in Sissu. He also said the tunnel “will connect the youth of this entire region with many employment opportunities.”
Named after former prime minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Atal tunnel has been built at the altitude of 3,000 metres from the mean sea level. The tunnel reduces the road distance between Manali and Leh by 46km.
It has been built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. It will remain open throughout the year as opposed to the valley being cut off for about six months every year amid heavy snowfall.