New Delhi: The longest highway tunnel, Atal Tunnel, built at an altitude of more than 10,000 feet, has become a new accident prone area after it witnessed three accidents within three days of its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It has become the new tourist hotspot in Himachal Pradesh. Several instances of rash and negligent driving, and “indecent behaviour” by tourists have been noticed since opening of the tunnel.
Accidents at the longest Tunnel
According to a report in news portal Outlook, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and district authorities are facing new concerns with hundreds of tourists and motorists over-speeding and racing in the new tunnel.
“Three accidents were reported in a single day after the tunnel was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on October 3. Showing a complete disregard for traffic rules, tourists and motorists have been clicking selfies while riding,” Brigadier KP Purushothaman , BRO Chief Engineer, Atal Tunnel was quoting as saying by the report.
The BRO official further said that he has requested for police deployment to prevent accidents. The police have taken steps to curb reckless driving and over-speeding in the tunnel.
A Border Roads Organisation official, meanwhile, said the tunnel would remain closed for public daily from 9-10 am and 4-5 pm.
PM Modi on October 3 inaugurated the all-weather Atal tunnel, which reduces the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km and the travel time by four to five hours.
The world’s longest underground highway will play a significant role in giving a boost to India’s border infrastructure. The 9 km long tunnel will link Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley.
The establishment of the longest tunnel at Rohtang is great news for residents of Lahaul-Spiti especially during the winters when the entire district is covered with snow and road connectivity gets fractured.
On December 24, 2019, the central government under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi took the decision to name the Rohtang tunnel as Atal Tunnel in order to honour former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 95th birth anniversary.