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PM Modi inaugurates Atal Tunnel in Rohtang

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: October 03, 2020 17:14 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the strategically important all-weather Atal Tunnel in Rohtang and lashed out at the Congress-led previous governments, saying strategic projects were neglected and defence interests were compromised for years.

IMAGE: rime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of Atal tunnel, world's longest highway tunnel, in Manali. Photograph: DD/PTI Photo

Atal Tunnel, built by the Border Roads Organisation, is the longest highway tunnel in the world and reduces the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km. It also reduces the travel time by four to five hours.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Modi said Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation of the approach road for this tunnel, but after his government left, the project was all but forgotten.

SEE: PM inaugurates world's longest highway tunnel

 

Experts say that the pace at which Atal Tunnel was being constructed after the Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government were to continue, the tunnel would have been completed by 2040, he said.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh(R) and Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur during the inauguration of Atal tunnel, in Manali. Photograph: DD/PTI Photo

"Our govt increased the pace of construction from 300 meters per year to 1,400 meters per year and completed the project in 2020," Modi said.

SEE: Rajnath Singh tours Atal Tunnel in Rohtang

 

The work on Atal Tunnel was accelerated after 2014 and in just six years the government completed the work of 26 years, he said.

Just like the Atal Tunnel similar treatment was meted out to several such projects.

IMAGE: Atal Tunnel, built by the Border Roads Organisation, is the longest highway tunnel in the world and reduces the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km. Photograph: DD/PTI Photo

"There was no political will. I can talk about dozens of projects that are important from the strategic point of view, but for years they were neglected," he said, hitting out at the previous Congress-led governments.

"Nothing more important to us than protecting country, but there was an era when defence interests were compromised," he said, in an apparent swipe at the Congress.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being presented with a memento by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur during the inauguration of Atal Tunnel, in Manali. Photograph: PTI Photo
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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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