The Atal Tunnel, the world's longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet, has been completed. The tunnel connecting Manali to Leh was completed in 10 years. The actual estimated time for the project was less than six years. There are CCTV cameras every 60 meters and emergency exit tunnels every 500 meters inside the tunnel. Chief Engineer Purushothaman said that the tunnel would reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km and save four hours.
Fire hydrants have also been installed inside the tunnel in case of fire for any reason. Induction and de-induction of materials was very difficult during construction. He says they faced a lot of challenges, but together they were able to complete its construction. The width of the tunnel is 10.5 m, including the 1.0 m footpath on either side, according to the chief engineer.
They had a strong desire to connect Leh and Manali which was the first step towards a connectivity ladder. They worked in this tunnel from both ends. He added that the tunnel was a challenging project as the other end was across the Rohtang Pass to the north, where it could only be accessed for five months of the year.