Manali: The first convoy of the Indian Army passed through the newly-inaugurated Atal Tunnel near Manali in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday.
The tunnel helps in saving four to five hours of travel time and 46 kilometres distance Manali and Leh in Union Territory of Ladakh.
On October 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Atal Tunnel, which at 9.02 km is the longest highway tunnel in the world and connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti Valley in Rohtang.
Earlier, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the strategically important Atal Tunnel is dedicated to the armed forces protecting India’s borders and those living in the remote terrains.
“I do not need to explain the importance of this tunnel, its strategic importance is understood by everyone. It will ensure speedy and faster transportation of rations, weapons and other logistics. It will also help in faster deployment of personnel. Situated on the border of two nations, it is dedicated to those protecting our borders, and those who live in those areas,” Singh said The Tunnel will ensure movement throughout the year. Earlier, the Valley was cut off for about six months each year owing to heavy snowfall.