Atal Tunnel will transform lives of the people in the region: Modi

 Atal Tunnel will transform lives of the people in the region: Modi
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New Delhi, Oct 03: Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in ‘Abhar Samaroh’ at Sissu, Lahaul and Spiti, in Himachal Pradesh today.

Transformative impact of the Tunnel

Prime Minister recalled going there when he used to work as a karyakarta, by traversing the long route through Rohtang, and the difficulties faced by people due to Rohtang Pass being closed in winters. He also recalled his interactions with Shri Thakur Sen Negi in those days. He said that former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was well aware of these difficulties, which was why he announced the tunnel in the year 2000.

Modi noted that through the 9 Km tunnel, a distance of about 45-46 Km has been reduced. He underlined that the lives of the people of the region are about to change due to the transformative impact of the tunnel. He said that the tunnel will prove beneficial for a spectrum of people of Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi, including the farmers, people associated with horticulture and animal rearing, students, businessmen etc.

It will prevent the farm produce of the region from getting ruined, by enabling it to reach markets quickly. It will help Chandramukhi potatoes of the region reach new markets and new buyers. The tunnel will also help herbal medicinal plants and spices grown in Lahaul-Spiti reach out and make a mark worldover for the region. Further, the tunnel will negate the need of families venturing out for education of their kids, he noted.

Boost to tourism and employment opportunities

Prime Minister talked about the tremendous tourism potential of the region. He said a new dimension is now going to be added to Lahaul-Spiti as a confluence of Dev Darshan and Buddha Darshan. It will now become easier for people all over the world to access Tabo Monastery in Spiti Valley.

He remarked that the entire region will become a huge centre for Buddhists from East Asia and also from other countries across the world. Increased tourism will also open up several employment opportunities for the youth, he said.

Last mile outreach

Prime Minister underlined that the Atal Tunnel symbolizes the commitment of the government to ensure that the benefits of development reach out to each and every citizen.

He said that earlier, Lahaul-Spiti and several other such areas were left to fend for themselves, since these regions could not fulfil the politically selfish desires of some people. But, the country is now working with a new thinking, and policies now are not made on the basis of the number of votes, but the endeavour is to ensure that no Indian is left behind.

The Prime Minister noted that Lahaul-Spiti is a big example of this change, as evident in it being one of those districts where the arrangement for har ghar pipe se jal has been ensured.

Modi reiterated the commitment of the government for making all basic necessary facilities available for the Dalits, the Tribals, the victims and the deprived.

He listed out efforts of the government towards rural electrification, making available LPG gas connection, construction of facilities like toilets, treatment facilities through Ayushman Bharat Yojana. He ended his remarks by asking people to remain vigilant against coronavirus.


The historic decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 03, 2000 when late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) worked relentlessly to overcome major geological, terrain and weather challenges that included the most difficult stretch of the 587-metre Seri Nalah Fault Zone. The breakthrough from both ends was achieved on October 15, 2017.

The Union Cabinet met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24th December 2019 and decided to name the Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel to honour the contribution made by the former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

After attending the inauguration function of the Atal Tunnel at South Portal, Manali, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in public functions at Sissu in Lahaul Spiti and at Solang Valley.  

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