New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Atal Tunnel has not only realised Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s dream but has also ended the decades-long wait of the people of Himachal Pradesh. He also said that brothers and sisters who live in the mountains know the importance of 3-4 hours in travel time.

The tunnel will reduce the travel time between Manali and Keylong by 3-4 hours.  PM Modi said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had laid the foundation stone of the approach road of this tunnel in 2002. Till 2013-2014, progress was made only on 1,300 meters of this tunnel. After 2014, the project progressed with unprecedented pace.

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After inaugurating the longest highway tunnel in the World, PM Modi said the tunnel will also strengthen the country’s border infrastructure.

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh while addressing the gathering at Atal tunnel said that the tunnel is dedicated to people of the country as well as the soldiers who man the Indian borders.

More interesting facts about the tunnel:

1. Provide almost all-weather connectivity to Indian Army troops posted in Ladakh.

2. There is a telephone located every 150 metres, a fire hydrant every 60 metres, an emergency exit every half a km, a turning cavern every 2.2 km, a broadcasting system, and CCTV cameras stationed every 250 metres.

3. It is built by the Border Roads Organisation.

4. It will have a maximum speed limit of 80km per hour and is expected to accommodate traffic of up to 1,500 trucks and 3,000 cars per day.

5. It took ten years for the tunnel to be completed.

6. It is the world's longest motorable tunnel, at an altitude of over 3,000 metres.