Spiti: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the 9.02 kilometre long Atal tunnel.
The Atal tunnel is the world’s longest tunnel, above an altitude of 3,000 metres which connects Manali with Leh.
The historic inauguration is likely to happen by the end of September.
“The Prime Minister is likely to inaugurate the tunnel by the end of next month. He will visit the site physically instead of virtually attending the event. This tunnel is going to be very significant. The dream of Atal ji is finally coming true,” Thakur told reporters.
The construction of the strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was decided on June 3, 2000 when late Atal Bihari Viajpayee was the Prime Minister. Named after him, the tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by nearly 45 kilometres and drive time by around seven hours. It will also save crores of rupees in transport costs in the long run.
It is a 10.5 metre wide single tube bi-lane with a fire-proof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself.