From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Atal Tunnel, Pir Panjal Range
Mains level : Not Much
The Atal Tunnel at Rohtang, near Manali, is almost complete in all respects and will be inaugurated very soon in September.
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- The 9-km-long tunnel is constructed under the Pir Panjal range.
- It has been named after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and will be the world’s longest highway tunnel above the altitude of 10,000 feet (3000 metres).
- It was scheduled to be completed by May 2020, in a revised estimate, but the Covid-19 pandemic pushed back the completion by a few months due to lockdown conditions.
- Vehicles can travel at a maximum speed of 80 km per hour. Up to 1,500 trucks and 3,000 cars are expected to use it per day when the situation gets to normal.
What is its strategic advantage?
- Cutting through the Pir Panjal range, the tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km.
- The tunnel will provide almost all-weather connectivity to the troops stationed in Ladakh.