Manali: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Saturday said the dedication of the Atal Tunnel, beneath the majestic Rohtang Pass, has ushered a new era of development and given a new identity to the region.
It has ensured all-weather connectivity to the Lahaul Valley and made traffic movement easy, which would prove a milestone in the development of tourism in the state, he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Atal Tunnel at its south portal near Manali to the nation.
Later at a public meeting in Solang, Thakur welcomed Prime Minister Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and thanked them for the inauguration of the tunnel.
The Chief Minister reminded the Prime Minister of his paragliding adventures in the late 1990s.
He said the Solang Nallah has emerged as one of the favourite tourist destinations in the past few years. Dedication of the Atal Tunnel will boost tourism activities in the area and strengthen the economy of the State, he added.
The Chief Minister said that even in the wake of Covid-19, the Prime Minister made an effort to visit Himachal Pradesh personally to inaugurate this tunnel, which simply showed his love and affection for Himachal Pradesh and its people.
He said Covid-19 prevented the state from organising an impressive function which could have been attended by the people from across the state but all arrangements have been made to telecast this programme live in all 3,226 gram panchayats of the state.
Modi inaugurated the 9.02-km long Atal Tunnel from its south portal. It was constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), a wing of the Defence Ministry.
The Atal Tunnel, named after late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is the longest highway tunnel in the world at an altitude of over 3,000 metres.
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