Rohtang Tunnel to become a reality


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Shinkula tunnel to reduce Leh distance by 100 km

External Source : Tribune India

Shimla, June 25
Construction of the Rohtang tunnel is just the beginning of long-term plans of the Defence Ministry to have all-weather connectivity to the border areas as it is the boring of another 4-km-long tunnel under the Shinkula Pass, which will provide unhindered access on the Manali-Leh road.

The construction of another tunnel under the 15,920-ft Shinkula Pass will enable bypassing of the four lofty mountain passes of Baralacha La, Thaglang La, Nakila and Lachung La to make Manali-Leh an all-weather road. This will also reduce the distance on this tactical road by almost 100 km, making it the shortest route for carrying defence supplies to the border areas beyond Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are undertaking a feasibility study for construction of a tunnel at the Shinkula Pass which will help us bypass the higher areas which have heavy snow and thereby reduce the distance to Leh by 100 km,” said PK Mahajan, chief engineer, Project Rohtang. It was on the proposal of the Border Road Organisation (BRO) that the Defence Ministry gave go ahead to undertake feasibility studies for the construction of the tunnel.

The realigned highway will pass through much lower altitude from Darcha to Padam via Shinkula.

The fact that the government is willing to spend a huge amount of Rs 1,458 crore on the 8.9-km-long Rohtang tunnel only heightens the strategic importance of the 470 km Manali-Leh road. In fact this route came in very handy for movement of supplies for the forces deployed in the border areas at the time of Kargil conflict as the road through Jammu and Kashmir came under the firing range of the Pakistani forces, making movement a very risky and difficult task.

Sources confirmed that following the Kargil conflict, India was keen to have a safe passage to its border areas with its neighbours like Pakistan. Even though the Rohtang tunnel was conceived way back in 1983 as an alternate route for strategic considerations, it was only in September last year that that the Cabinet sub-committee on Security cleared the Rohtang tunnel project.

A preliminary study for the project was conducted in 1984 in consultation with Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Manali-based Snow Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE). The detailed feasibility study of the tunnel was finally approved in January 1987.

The construction of the Rohtang tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Koksar in Lahaul by 46 km and travelling time by two hours. It is bound to open up vistas of trade and tourism and ample employment opportunities for almost 35,000 population of Lahaul-Spiti.

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Sonia to lay stone of world’s longest high-altitude Rohtang tunnel today

External source : Tribune india

Sonia to lay stone of world’s longest high-altitude Rohtang tunnel today

Manali, June 27
Rohtang, meaning “heap of dead bodies” in Persian, aptly portrays the ruthless and rugged living conditions that the people of this area have learnt to live with. But a dream conceived by Rajiv Gandhi 27 years ago will start a change for the better when UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday lays the foundation stone of the world’s longest high altitude Rohtang tunnel near here.

It will provide smooth two-way movement for vehicles upto a maximum speed of 80 km per hour. “The tunnel will provide movement for 3,000 vehicles to and fro daily with provision for semi-transverse ventilation system,” said PK Mahajan, Chief Engineer of Project Rohtang. All conditions inside the tunnel -- including light, pollution and fire hydrants -- will be monitored automatically from outside with closed circuit cameras all along providing a minute-to-minute inside picture.

Fresh air will be pushed into the tunnel while the exhausted gases will be pumped out to keep conditions under control. “In case of a fire hazard, it will be controlled within 90 seconds and would not be allowed to spread beyond 200 metres, ensuring complete safety with the use of system of dampers,” explained Mahajan.

The dream project to be built by the Border Road Organisation (BRO) at a cost of Rs 1,495 crore is likely to be completed by 2015. Strategically, it will be an important milestone enabling an all-weather road link across the captivating Rohtang Pass (13,044 feet) to Leh and the border areas for carriage of defence supplies.

Construction of the 8.8-km Rohtnag Tunnel, an engineering marvel, will open up the state’s remotest but most pristine tribal areas of Lahaul-Spiti to tourism and other socio-economic activities, which otherwise remain snowbound for six months, virtually snapping all road links to the region.

For the 35,000-odd population of Lahaul, Spiti and Pangi, the tunnel would reduce travelling distance by 46 km and time by two hours. For many residents of Jammu and Kashmir, especially Leh area, this could be the shortest road link to other parts of the country. However, to make this a reality, the BRO proposes another tunnel at Shinkula Pass (15,920 feet) that will reduce the 470 km journey between Manali-Leh by 100 km.

“Local residents are very enthused about the tunnel and are already planning in advance to ensure that they are able to reap the dividends of the development landmark the moment it is complete,” said Ritesh Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner of Lahaul-Spiti. He says the local people will benefit from the oasis resorts that are likely to come up along the entire route where highway tourism is bound to boom.

Tunnel Trivia

What it offers: All-weather road link across the Rohtang Pass, smooth two-way movement for vehicles up to speed of 80 km/hr

Features: Lighting, fire hydrants, fresh air

Cost: Rs 1,495 crore

Completion: By February 2015


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Tight security ahead of Sonia’s visit

External Source : Tribune India

Manali, June 27
Elaborate security arrangements have been made in view of arrival of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to lay the foundation stone of the 8.8-km-long Rohtang tunnel tomorrow, about 24 km from here, near Dhundi.

According to sources, Sonia will arrive by a helicopter at the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) helipad, 4 km from here, and will straightaway drive to the Rohtang tunnel site.

The entire Solang Ski Slopes is decked up to welcome Sonia where she will address a large gathering of party workers and residents of Lahaul-Spiti and Kullu valley.

Keeping in view the arrival of Sonia and other top dignitaries of the Congress and the BJP, security has been beefed up and tourists will not be allowed to visit the Rohtang Pass tomorrow.

However, the Rohtang Pass, which is usually closed on Tuesday by the BRO (Border Roads Organisation) for road repairs, will be open on coming Tuesday for the convenience of tourists.

Party workers will host a traditional lunch known as “Dhaam” at Solang valley on the occasion.
As per my knowledge, the tunnel projects starts way before Gulaba, not sure whether it comes before Kothi or not, so it might just be accessible all year around, as Monkeyboy pointed out.
Hello Yogesh Sarkar...Khamzang ena lay.. Juley..
Sir, the tunnnel projects starts way from Dhundi just about 10 KM from Solang tourist spot and the metal road has already been constructed by the BRO up to the South Portal i.e. Dhundi and its North Portal is near the SISSU NURSERY in Lahaul & Spiti District (H.P.) Juley..

Top Singh Bodh
I think after the Tunnel all heavy vehicular traffic will take the tunnel and that will keep the road to Rohtang in better shape(theoretically at least). But on the other side of the coin, due to this they may even neglect the maintenance of the Rohtang La..

Hello Konfused..Khamzang ena lay.. Juley...
You all have forgotten the Spiti Valley which is the main part of the district Lahaul and Spiti with its district HQ at Keylong. The Rohtang Pass is the gateway to enter into the valleys of Lahaul and Spti, the Spitians take the diversion from Gramphu which is behind and below Rohtang Pass and if the Rohtang is not maintained they will have to go first to Sissu (Lahaul valley) and than to Spiti Valley covering some extra KMs. Moreover, the tunnel is being constructed from defence point of view to provide shortest and all weather open road up to Leh. The Govt. has also planned a tunnel beneath Shin-kun-la Pass for which the road from Darcha to Nimu is under construction both side, so the Rohtang Tunnel can be closed for civilians any time as and when the situation warrants. Now, the Rohtang road is being widened and metaled as an alternate route and for doing Manali-Kaza. Juley..

Top Singh Bodh
Last four days i was in rohtang pass tunnel site. Some Photos of Near Dhundi & Rohtang Tunnel is for all of you. Tunnelling work from Dhundi site is almost 940 Mtr. completed. Tunnelling work progress in all season from both side Dhundi (North Portal) & Sissu (South Portal), Keylong Dist.

Length of Total Tunnel is 8.8 Km.













Reclaimed and Recycled
So 950m out of 8.8kms is done..? I think it can take 4-5 years more. But then AFCON usually works very fast.
That said, in Western ghats, Konkan tunnels were completed very fast, and Western ghats are not at all condusive to tunneling, and also get much heavier rain.

Gaurav Pai

Active Member
That said, in Western ghats, Konkan tunnels were completed very fast, and Western ghats are not at all condusive to tunneling, and also get much heavier rain.
Which tunnels?? I havent seen any tunnels on the roads (NH 17 / NH 4 or within the Konkan region), apart from the Mumbai - Pune Expressway ones. Are you talking about the Konkan railway tunnels?