10 years on, Rohtang Tunnel prepared for opening


Mumbai, August 27

The Rs 4,000-crore Rohtang Tunnel, the world’s longest motorable roadway at an altitude of over 3,000 metres, is prepared for opening subsequent month following the completion of civil works that started a decade in the past.

The tunnel can be opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by mid-September, stated Satish Paretkar, Director of Hydro & Underground enterprise unit at Afcons.

A three way partnership of Shapoorji Pallonji Group-run Afcons and Strabag of Austria gained the Engineering Procurement & Construction (EPC) tender for Rs 1,458 crore from Border Road Organisation in 2009.

The value of the challenge has crossed Rs 2,500 crore now, he stated. The civil works began in 2009 and was to be accomplished inside 6.5 years.

Paretkar stated the precise date of opening of the tunnel was but to be finalised.

The 9.02 km-long Atal Tunnel, named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, passes beneath the Rohtang Pass within the jap Pir Panjal vary on the Leh-Manali freeway at an altitude of three,060 metres on the lowest and three,078 metres on the peak.

The tunnel is 10.5 metres large and has a peak of 5.52 metres and a automobile can zip by at 80 kmph.

According to Paretkar, the horseshoe formed single-tube, double-lane tunnel has many firsts.

With a size of 9.02 km, it’s the longest on this planet at an altitude of over 3,000 metres or 10,000 toes imply sea degree, he stated.

Further, additionally it is the nation’s first tunnel to have an escape tunnel inside the principle tunnel due to the topography.

Globally, escape tunnels are constructed individually alongside the principle tunnel.

This can be the primary tunnel to deploy the Rowa flyer know-how, which permits engineers to work at inverted ranges, he stated.

Paretkar stated the delay in completion of the tunnel was primarily because of the 410-metre lengthy Seri Nalla, a brook.

“Seri Nalla was emitting over 125 litres of water per second, making work really hard. In my entire engineering life, this was the toughest job to execute. It took us more than three years to drill 410 metres along the Nalla,” he stated.

In the Seri Nalla zone within the South Portal, engineers confronted common collapse of the tunnel face on account of extraordinarily poor geological circumstances.

Afcons deployed over 1,000 workmen and 150 engineers. The engineering design was completed by Australian Snowy Mountain Engineering Company.

The tunnel has consumed 14,508 metric tonnes of metal and a pair of,37,596 metric tonnes of cement, and excavated out 14 lakh cubic metres soil and rocks, utilizing the drill and blast approach for excavation and the New Austrian Tunnelling technique for development, Paretkar stated.

At the height, the tunnel is 2.5 km deep in beneath mountain stomach on the South Portal facet and the bottom overburden is 1.5 km, Paretkar stated. His group can be constructing the world’s highest single-arch railway bridge throughout the Chenab in J&Okay.

The terrain is so harmful that there are 13 avalanche zones across the tunnel, but there was not a single deadly accident in all these 10 years of the challenge life, he stated, including that every employee is given an digital chip that can warn of any hazard.

The all-weather tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul and Spiti valley all year long lowering the space on the Manali-Rohtang Pass-Sarchu-Leh street by 46 km, and drive-time by 4-5 hours between Manali and Lahaul-Spiti. It is alongside one of many solely two routes into Ladakh and can turn out to be key to resupplying army garrisons.

The tunnel was conceived manner again in 1983 by the Indira Gandhi authorities to make the Manali-Leh street all-weather. But it was solely in 2002, that the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee authorities declared development of the tunnel and laid the muse for the strategy street to the tunnel. The challenge started to maneuver solely in September 2009. PTI



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