Centre contemplating three tunnels to Leh

Centre contemplating three tunnels to LehSHIMLA: Stressing that work on the strategically important Rohtang Tunnel will be completed by November next year; Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has said that the Centre was planning to construct three more tunnels up to Leh. Thakur was speaking to media persons after reviewing the progress of the tunnel along with officers of the Border Road Organization (BRO) and Strabag AG Afcons JV Company, responsible for executing the project.
The Union government was contemplating to construct three more tunnels on this road up to Leh, Rawat said. So, that this road of strategic importance could be strengthened and distance up to Leh-Ladakh would be reduced by about 100 kilometers and travelling distance by about seven hours, he added.
Using the tunnel, Rawat crossed over to Shisu in Lahaul Spiti from Dhundi in Kullu district. Union Minister of Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari too was scheduled to accompany Rawat but had to cancel his plan due to bad weather. Being built at a cost of Rs. 4083 crore, the nine kilometers long tunnel would not only provide all weather connectivity to Lahaul valley but also ensure road connectivity up to Leh-Ladakh in neighboring Jammu and Kashmir bordering China, the CM said.
The foundation stone of the ambitious project was laid by the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and PM Narendra Modi is keen that the project be dedicated to the nation at the earliest, he added. Thakur said the tunnel would also open the valley for the tourists and provide them opportunity to enjoy the serene beauty of Lahaul and Spiti districts.
The biggest hindrance in construction of this tunnel was managing the Seri Nullah in between the tunnel. It took four years for completing this 600 meters long stretch, he said. Later, the CM inspected the Manali helipad and discussed with senior officers the scope for its further expansion from tourism point of view. PTI

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