2555Work on country's longest road tunnel to begin next year
- May 7, 2007Work on country's longest road tunnel to begin next year
Staff Correspondent (The Hindu)
The 8.802 km long Rohtang Tunnel is being designed to carry traffic
load at 80 kmph
SHIMLA: The consultancy contract for the multi-crore Rohtang Tunnel
project has been given to an Australian company, SMEC International
The contracts would be awarded by the end of the year and work on the
country's longest road tunnel project would begin by next year, said
Brigadier Krishan Pratap Singh, head of the project, here on
He said the cost of constructing the tunnel had been projected at Rs.
943.32 crore and of building the road up to the north end and south
end of the tunnel had been estimated at an additional Rs. 180.30
The tunnel will be 8.802 km long and is being designed to carry a
traffic load at 80 km per hour. The target year for completion of the
tunnel is 2014. It would help reduce the distance by 46 km and
provide round-the-year access to Lahual Valley that gets landlocked
due to heavy snow for six to seven months in a year, said Brig.
He said geological studies were being conducted and, depending on the
rock structure, either the traditional drill and blast technique or
the faster working boring machine would be employed to construct the
tunnel which is of a great strategic interest to the defence forces.
If boring machine is deployed for construction, the completion of the
tunnel could be advanced by a year, he added. The project has been
envisaged to build an alternative year-round link to the Ladak region
of Jammu and Kashmir.
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated the
prestigious project in May 2002. Meanwhile, access to the landlocked
snow-bound Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh will be permitted from
May 10, as the Border Roads Organisation has cut through the major
glaciers on the way to Rohtang Pass, Brig Singh announced on
He said repair work was going on over the high-altitude road and
emergency supplies of gas, food grains and other essential
commodities would be allowed from this weekend.
For tourism and other general purposes Rohtang Pass (altitude 13,050
ft) will become operational by May 10, said Brig Singh.