Rohtang Tunnel to become a reality

Yogesh Sarkar

Finally, Rohtang Tunnel to become a reality
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
With China vastly improving road and rail connectivity in strategically important Tibet Autonomous Region, India seems to have woken up, though belatedly, to gravity of the situation with a nod to start work on much-touted Rohtang Tunnel.

Negotiations for the construction of the tunnel, worth nearly Rs 2000 crore, with an Australian civil engineering company, SMEC, based in Melbourne, were completed in July, this year.

The construction of the tunnel, at an altitude of 3100 m with winter temperatures as low as -25 degrees, was likely to begin early next year, an officer with the Border Roads Organisation, BRO RCC, a part of the Indian Army, informed.

Interestingly, the project, envisaging a 9-km-long tunnel to connect Lahaul-Spiti areas with Manali round the year, was conceived as far back as 1983.

After usual bureaucratic dilly dallying leading to around two-decade delay, it was finally inaugurated by the former Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, about four years back.

But even after the high-profile inauguration, the work on the project remained stuck for want of clearance by the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment and also by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

Now, when the green signal has been finally given by the Centre, the work is going on full steam with the BRO engineers on the verge of completing ?approach? roads leading up to the tunnel-site.

These roads were required to connect the tunnel with the Manali-Leh road and also to mobilise resources for the construction of tunnel.

The officer said the BRO would also finish constructing a 180-feet-long valley bridge over the Chandra river, with in a week, to connect Lahaul to the tunnel site. Later, the bridge would be increased in length to 350-feet.

The feasibility report by the Australian company is being eagerly awaited so that boring on the site can start. A dumping site too has been earmarked and land taken in possession along both sides of the tunnel-site.

The tunnel, in all likelihood to be horse-shoe shaped and claimed to be the highest in the world, will be an engineering marvel equipped with close-circuit TVs and modern security gadgetry. The project will be completed by 2014.

Once completed, the tunnel will ensure round-the-year connectivity with militarily and strategically important regions bordering China.

Also, it will come as a huge respite to residents of the Lahaul-Spiti region who are so far used to months of isolation during winters.


Yogesh Sarkar

Shamik :lol:

I am looking forward to this tunnel being completed soon and becoming the primary route for traveling to Ladakh. This will take the pressure off the Manali ? Leh route and most probably it will be less maintained then it is right now. All this would be mean that route might become a heaven for offroad buffs who want to rough it out :D.


Active Member
2014 is still long way to go. And as the things in relation to constructions are done in India, add a couple more years.:eek:
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Active Member
2014 ??? :shock::shock::shock:

I think this has been wrongly printed.. I know some people working on the project and all they have done till now is done a feasibility study and found out " oh yes it can be done.... "

Just to remind everyone, work can only be carried out in the summer months


Super Moderator
Staff member
Just to remind everyone, work can only be carried out in the summer months
Further, be reminded that Rohtang Pass is not the only hurdle to reach the 'border' areas!!
The article does not even attempt to say how far this tunnel will help the REAL issue of rapid deployment of forces & supplies to the border areas.
In fact they seem to be saying that this tunnel will allow year long access to the border areas. :mad: Have they not heard of Baralacha, Lachlang and Taglang? :shock:
Have they not heard of Baralacha, Lachlang and Taglang? :shock:
sir, they have planned to bypass those passes, by making road from darcha to padum...and padum to nimmu.
according to one zangskari, the previous govt. (NDA) was very enthu abt project so they were providing better support and budget, but the current one (UPA) is not providing enough money for this project.


Active Member
Correction > The Rohtang Tunnel project has already started, since the past 2-3 years. Once they start with the tunnel boring, they can work all year round as basically they will be tunnelling underneath a mountain.

The tunnel will start somewhere below Marhi, below the snowline. (I will try to gather more details).

Anup sir, there is also a plan to build some other infrastructure, I dont know whether I should put it here.

Crux is government is very serious in (well seems to be, the Rohtang tunnel got delayed as they could not get clearance from their own environment ministry) on improving infra leading to border areas.