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Atal Tunnel (Rohtang Tunnel)- It's Strategic importance and Features

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday, October 3rd inaugurated the world's longest tunnel which is above 10000 feet.
It is named after former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

This tunnel is considered to be strategic because :      

1. It reduces the distance between Manali in Himachal Pradesh and Leh in Ladakh by 46 kilometers and the travel time by 4 to 5 hours. 

2. The total length of this tunnel is 9.02 kilometer. 

3. It is built in the Pir Panjal range of The Himalayas. (at an altitude of 3000 meters
above the sea level)

As you know the Himalayas are divided into 4 parts

1. Trans-Himalayas
( Tibetan Himalayas )
2. The greater Himalayas
( Himadri)
3. Lesser or the Middle Himalayas
( Himachal  )
4. Shivalik or Outer Himalayas

Pir Panjal range is part of the middle Himalayas or Lesser Himalayas or Himadri. Manali is a high altitude Himalayan resort town in Himachal Pradesh the bias river flows through this town. 

Since it is a higher altitude himalayan
region obviously you can expect snow
now from Manali. Rohtang pass it is some 50 to 55 kilometer north of Manali
Rohtang pass or Rohtang la basically it's a road that cuts through mountains and takes you to Ladakh. 

As you can see this white portion in the
map it's a huge mountain block this is the Pir Panjal mountain range and  La Manali highway passes through the Rohtang pass.
Basically this much of the road that cuts through the mountains in other words what looks like a scary zigzag road is called Rothang La. 

So from Manali to reach Rothangla it will take you 2 to 3 hours and once you reach the Pir Panjal mountain range you then need to cross Rotangla which is the road that passes through the

In winter this much of road remains closed but it is open from june to october for motor vehicles. 

Rohtang pass is at an elevation of 1354
feet or 3978 meters and Manali is at 2050
meter that means the land elevation is
increasing towards the northern direction
that also indicates the existence of  big mountain which is basically the Pir Panjal mountain range and once you cross the Rohtang pass the land elevation again reduces not as much as manali but it reduces compared to the elevation of Rohtang pass. 

So anyhow imagine driving along this scary-looking zigzag road that goes up and down. It is quite fun in terms of looking at the landscape but it is also tidying and exhausting and it takes a lot of time to cover this distance. 

So to reduce this travel time the Atal tunnel is made.
Strategic importance :-

1. It is a 9 kilometer long tunnel making it world's longest highway tunnel above the altitude of 10 000 feet.

2. This tunnel will remain open all throughout the year. (it's an alternative route to the old road otherwise, if you look at the old road it remains shut for six months during winters) 

3. Provide an all-weather connectivity to our troops stationed in Ladakh, it will also be a the boon to the residents of the Lahaul and Spiti valley.  (who remain cut off from the rest of the country in winters
for nearly six months due to heavy snowfall. The tunnel will reduce the distance between manali and lay
by some 46 kilometer a journey from
manali to Lahaul and Spiti valley which normally takes around 5 hours to navigate would now be completed in
little over 10 minutes)

Features of Atal tunnel :-

A telephone at every 150 meters. 

2. A fire hydrant every 60 meters.  

3. Emergency exit every 500 meters. 

4. Turning cavern every 2.2 kilometer.
5. Air quality monitoring system every  1 kilometer. 

6. Broadcasting system and automatic
incident detection system with CCTV cameras every 250 meters.

So overall this tunnel holds strategic importance to both public as well as

Especially in view of what's happening
currently between India and China in Ladakh.

For more information 
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