Sonia to lay Rohatng Tunnel foundation, making Manali-Leh road usable round the year

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Dhundhi, (Himachal Pradesh), June 27 (ANI): United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi will lay foundation stone for the much awaited 8.8 kilometres long Rohtang tunnel in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu District on Monday.

Situated in the picturesque Solang Valley near Manali in Kullu district, the tunnel will connect Manali and Leh during all weathers.

It will be built at an altitude ranging between 3053 meters and 3080 meters.

In September 2009, the cabinet committee on security had cleared the 1493 crore rupees Rohtang Tunnel project.hen completed, the tunnel would be the world's longest tunnel at such a high altitude. The work is expected to be completed by 2015.

The tunnel with a horseshow shaped cross -section, will be11.25 metres wide at road level, providing ample room for two-way traffic and designed to cater to maximum vehicular speed of 80 kilometers per hour.

The Border Road Integrated Task Force Commander, Lieutenant.Colonel. Vinod Shukla said the Rohtang Tunnel would reduce Manli -Leh road by 46 kilometres.

"This tunnel is divided in three parts ventilations, highway and egress tunnel. This will be made in very sophisticated method of tunnel construction...C.C.T. V. Camera will be installed for security," Lt. Col Sharma said.

He described the road as strategically vulnerable.

" Strategically its first step, which will make Manali- Leh Road all weather accessible. It going up to open up all tribal area, for these people who remains cut off most of time," Lt Col Sharma said.

"It will help us in strategically as well as tourism point of view, it will help us in connecting this region and technology and it is going to help us in many ways," he added. he Rohtang tunnel was first conceived in 1983 to develop the Manali-Sarchu-Lehroad to an all weather alternate route for strategic considerations, and preliminary study was conducted in1984 in consultation with the geological Survey of India and Manali based Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE). By Ravi Shankar(ANI)

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