The world’s longest tunnel above an altitude of 3100 meters is being built below Rohtang Pass, located in the Eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalaya on the Leh-Manali Highway, India. The tunnel is 8.8 kilometers long and is anticipated to reduce the journey between Manali and Keylong by about 46 km.
Ladak is connected with the rest of the country by only two routes, Rohtang Pass and Zoji La pass. Both Rohtang and Zoji La pass receives heavy snow during the winter months each year, as a result, the roads remain blocked for six months, cutting off Ladak from the rest of the land. The two routes are also a very important means of communication for the Indian military camps in the Aksai Chin and the Siachen Glacier. The tunnel is expected to keep the highway unblocked throughout the year.
The decision to build the much-needed tunnel was taken in 2000 by former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee during his term. The tunnel was first named as Rohtang Tunnel but was later changed to Atal Tunnel by the government as a tribute to him in on his 95th birth anniversary. It is being operated and managed by the Border Roads Organisation. The INR 4,000 Crore tunnel is expected to function from September 2020.
Gotthard Base Tunnel, a railway tunnel running through the Alps, Switzerland is the World’s longest tunnel with a length of 57.09 km. It was inaugurated on 11 December 2016 and is also the World’s deepest traffic tunnel. The tunnel is operated and managed by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).