North Gazette News/ Manali
India’s longest road tunnel and gateway to remote tribal district of Lahaul & Spiti is likely to complete till 2017-18. Till date, a construction work upto 2300- 2400 meters has been completed till date from the both ends. Managing director (Project) Sunil Tyagi
, shared this information with Vice President, National Commission of Schedule Tribes and Lahaul – Spiti MLA Ravi Thakur, who had reached here to inspect the tunnel construction work at project site on Tuesday.
Construction Manager Sanjay Rathore informed that more than 800 employees including 150 company officials have been engaged to accomplish this herculean task. “The loose strata and seepage of water inside the tunnel is proving to be a herculean task and we are finding it very difficult to operate the machinery in these conditions. But our company has engaged the latest and modern machinery to expedite the tunnel construction work. . Border Road Organization is also assisting the company in this project,” he added.
It is worth mentioning that the tunnel is being bored under the 13,044-feet high Rohtang Pass that remains snow-bound in winters for over six months, cutting off the tribal Lahaul-Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh and also the strategically vital Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir . The construction of this tunnel would provide all weather road to the valley people, which is expected to bring prosperity and development in this valley. The foundation of the dream project was laid on June 28, 2010.
Earlier,construction of tunnel was expected to be completed by February 2015. The total length of the horse shoe-shaped tunnel is 8.8 km. The total project cost at the time of its inception was estimated around Rs.1700 crore.
The Rohtang tunnel project was first conceived in 1983 when it was propose to develop the Manali- Sarchu-Leh road to an all-weather alternate route for strategic considerations and a preliminary study was conducted in 1984 in consultation with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the Manali-based Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE).