Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatraya on Tuesday said Atal tunnel at Rohtang Pass will have an immense impact on strengthening the development activities in the tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti district, especially on the tourism front.

The Governor was interacting with senior officers of the Strabag-Afcons joint venture company, which was hired by the Border Road Organisation for executing the work of this strategic tunnel of national importance, at Raj Bhavan in Shimla.

Atal tunnel is nearing completion and is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi early next month.

Dattatreya said the tunnel was bound to transform the economy of the landlocked Lahaul Spiti district by providing all weather connectivity to the beautiful valley that remain closed for over 6 months owing to heavy snow on Rohtang Pass from November to April.

Expressing satisfaction over the completion of the tunnel, he said that the world’s longest road tunnel at an altitude above 3,000 metres is also significant from the military logistics point of view.

“The Atal Tunnel will provide better connectivity to the armed forces in reaching Ladakh and will reduce the road length of the Manali-Rohtang Pass road by 46 km,” he added.

The officers of the executing agency briefed the Governor on how this piece of engineering marvel came into existence and said that the biggest hindrance in construction of this tunnel was Seri Nallah, which was maneuvered with the hard work of engineers.

The difficulties increased exponentially due to heavy flow of slurry from crown area to tunnel face leading to frequent disruption of execution of works.

They told how Sub-Zero temperatures had adverse effects on characteristics and performance of various materials and equipment and difficulty in placing concrete in sub-zero temperatures.