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    The Indian Army gets a sui generis edge over the dragon *The ATAL Tunnel connecting Manali in Himachal Pradesh and Leh in Ladakh will give India a strategic edge in the high altitude warfare against the Chinese Oligarchy and its slave army.

    August 30, 2020
    1. The 8.8 km long Atal Rohtang road tunnel built at an altitude of over 10,000 feet is the LONGEST road tunnel in the whole world.
    1.1. The tunnel carved out under the Rohtang Pass is the LONGEST high altitude tunnel in the word.
    2. The tunnel is also called Atal Tunnel after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had announced the project on June 3, 2000.
    2.1.The work was entrusted to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
    3. The Rs 3,200-crore tunnel will shorten the 474-km distance between Manali and Leh by 46km, which means the eight-hour journey will be cut by five hours.
    4. The project has faced geological challenges which have pushed the deadline since digging started in 2011. The project was to be completed in February 2015, but water ingress from Seri Nullah, ban on rock mining and delay in allotment of land needed for quarrying, and loose rock strata in the middle caused the slow progress.
    5. The speed limits in the tunnel will be 80km per hour.
    5.1.The tunnel will accelerate troop mobility to strategic frontiers in Jammu and Kashmir, besides providing a road link to Lahaul and Spiti in the winters.
    5.2. It zips you under the pass in just 10 minutes as against five hours taken earlier to cross the Rohtang Pass.
    5.3. It shrinks the Manali-Leh road to 46 km from 474 km
    6. The tunnel is along one of only two routes into Ladakh and will become key to resupplying the military garrison there.
    6.1.The other route into Ladakh is via the Zojila Pass which connects the Kashmir Valley with Drass.
    7. The single tube bi-lane tunnel, 5.5 metres high, was bored through solid rock nearly two kilometres under the Rohtang Pass. The makers used a drill and blast technique for excavation, coupled with the New Austrian Tunnelling Method for construction.
    8. This part of the country remains cut-off for about six months in a year because of heavy snow cover.
    8.1.The Atal Rohtang Tunnel will prove very important for smooth movement of goods to and from Lahaul.
    9. PM MODI will dedicate this tunnel to the Nation in September 2020.
    10. More such tunnels are under approval at the moment.
    Ramdas Iyer
    Jai Hind