BRO is constructing Atal tunnel under the Rohtang pass connecting Manali-Lahaul
Atal tunnel work is scheduled to be completed by September 2020, unaffected of COVID-19 crisis
Manali: Time for some good news in the times of coronavirus crisis. If all goes well for the next few more months for BRO, the travel enthusiasts might travel from Manali to Lahaul in the month of January. Yes, right when the Pir Panjal ranges are covered with layers and layers of thick white snow. Proactive measures are being taken by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to complete the work on strategic Atal Tunnel connecting Manali-Lahaul districts of Himachal Pradesh, which is at the crucial stage of construction.
Road surface works, installation of electro-mechanic fittings including lighting, ventilation and intelligent traffic control systems are being executed. One steel superstructure bridge of 100-meter length across river Chandra on the North Portal of the tunnel is also under construction. The work was halted for 10 days due to the coronavirus crisis.
See you there with the unchanged deadline
Then in April the Director General Border Roads Lt Gen Harpal Singh took up the matter with Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. This resulted in the resumption of work on April 05, 2020, with on-site labour in active coordination with the State Government. Works in Atal Tunnel are being executed with all necessary COVID-19 precautions in place to ensure its completion in September 2020 as planned. It is important to mention here that there is an acute labour crisis across India in the times of coronavirus. However, Himachal Pradesh still remains one of the lesser affected states.
The strategic tunnel
Atal Tunnel is being constructed since Manali-Sarchu-Leh road remains closed for six months every year due to Rohtang Pass being completely snowbound between November and May. The tunnel will connect Manali to Lahaul Valley throughout the year and will reduce the road length of Manali-Rohtang Pass Sarchu-Leh road by 46 kilometres. Besides connecting the people of Lahaul to rest of India through the year the tunnel will aid the forward connectivity offering the security forces a major strategic advantage.