Published On: Sun, Jun 17th, 2018
India | ByIANS

Rohtang tunnel to be open for traffic by 2020

Manali: Construction of Rohtang tunnel, one of the world’s most challenging motorable projects at 3,000 metres above sea level and which will provide an all-season connectivity to the landlocked Lahaul Valley from here in Himachal Pradesh, may be completed by 2020.

Rohtang Pass in the Himalayas was completed last October. Now civil engineering work is on

The most ambitious and expensive undertaking of its kind, the excavation of the 8.8-km long horseshoe shaped tunnel under the 3,978 metres Rohtang Pass in the Himalayas was completed last October. Now civil engineering work is on.

However, a geological surprise in the form of a rivulet that sprung up in 2012 during the tunnel digging is posing a challenge. Its torrential inflow is emerging into the tunnel.

“As per the current pace of work, most likely we will complete all civil engineering work by December 2019,” an engineer involved in the tunnel construction said.

He said electrical and ventilation works were also in progress simultaneously. “In all probabilities, the tunnel will be made operational by May-June 2020.”

The project is being built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), a wing of the Defence Ministry, in collaboration with Afcons, a joint venture with Strabag AG.

The Rs 1,495-crore tunnel’s foundation stone was laid by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi on June 28, 2010 in the picturesque Solang Valley near here.

Official sources said the tunnel had missed its February 2015 deadline owing to tough geographical conditions in the Himalayas along with harsh climatic conditions, besides a limited working season of six months in the tunnel’s north portal.

Even the project is going to miss its second deadline 2019, admitted the engineer.

The tunnel, whose both ends can be accessed after negotiating 20 landslide and snow avalanche zones, is located at altitudes ranging above 3,000 metres and lies beneath the snow covered Rohtang Pass, whose 70 per cent of the top remains under snow even during summer.

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