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SOURCE: Hindustan Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang –at a height of 10,000 feet, the world’s longest tunnel for traffic–in Himachal Pradesh on October 3 at 10 am, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday.

As per the reception plan, approved by the cabinet, PM Modi will be accorded a grand welcome upon his arrival at four points as per the traditions of the districts. The PM,?who will return to New Delhi the same day, will be accompanied by Union defence minister Rajnath Singh and Union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur.

PM Modi will address two public meetings in Himachal Pradesh after opening the strategic Atal Tunnel Rohtang, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on September 28, asserting all Covid-19 protocols will be followed during the function, according to news agency PTI.

Named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the 9.2 km-long tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in the world, which connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. Earlier, the valley was cut off for about 6 months each year owing to heavy snowfall.

The tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3000 mtrs (10,000 Feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL). It reduces the road distance by 46 Kms between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours.

Atal Tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 3,000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day with max speed of 80 km/hr. It has the state of the art electromechanical system including semi transverse ventilation system, SCADA controlled firefighting, illumination and monitoring system.