18 January, 2021

Tunnel La

Rohtang tunnel will soon be open to traffic, make remote Lahaul-Spiti an all-weather destination

Tunnel La

Having overcome several Himalayan challenges, the 9.2-km-long Rohtang tunnel—the world’s longest for traffic—will get commissioned by the end of September. At 10,171 feet above sea level, the tunnel named after former PM Atal Bihari Vaj­payee lays down an alternative route to the strategically important Leh-Ladakh region, and will provide around-the-year connectivity to the remote Lahaul-Spiti district and Pangi valley, Chamba district, of Himachal Pradesh. The tunnel is beneath Rohtang La–a mountain pass at 13,059 feet leading to Lahaul-Spiti. The pass remaines snowed under and closed for almost six months every year, snapping all communications to the picturesque valleys. The two-lane tunnel will also reduce the travelling distance between Manali and Keylong, the district headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti.

“For at least six months following closure of Rohtang La in November, the ent­ire population of Lahaul-Spiti used to live in isolation,” says the project chief engineer, Brigadier K.P. Purushothaman. “The only communication...



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