Mandi, January 16
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will construct a tunnel beneath the Shinkula Pass to provide road connectivity to Leh from the Manali side. At present, there is only one route to Leh from Manali via the Baralacha Pass for the Army and civilians, which remains closed for months during the winter every year due to heavy snowfall.
Jitender Prasad, Chief Engineer of Yojak Project of BRO Atal Tunnel, said that the detailed project report (DPR) of the Shinkula tunnel was in the final stage. As soon as it was completed, the BRO would start the construction work for the tunnel beneath the Shinkula Pass.
He said that the Atal Tunnel was the most modern tunnel of the country and had become a tourist hotspot. “The BRO is going to build a museum regarding the Atal Tunnel. Tourists visiting the Atal Tunnel will be able to get information about it’s construction at the museum,” he added.
“Due to a heavy flow of tourists on the Manali-Leh highway, the need for a bypass to ease traffic congestion between Manali and Keylong is being felt. To resolve the issue, the BRO will construct a double-lane bypass from Nehru Kund towards the tunnel beyond Manali. The help of the state government will also be taken. Once all formalities are completed, the construction of the bypass will start,” he added.
“To stop leakage inside the Atal Tunnel from the Seri Nullah, the BRO has signed an MoU with the NHPC. The problem of seepage in the tunnel will be solved before the coming summer,” he said.
Ever since the face-off with China in the Galwan valley, the Central Government is keen to explore the possibility of all-weather connectivity to Leh from the Manali side, especially for military purpose.
Due to its high altitude, the Shinkula Pass receives heavy snowfall, blocking traffic movement on the Darcha-Padum highway, which is under construction. This highway would be connected at Nimmu from Padum ahead at the Kargil-Leh highway to provide all-weather connectivity to Leh via the Keylong-Darcha-Shinku La-Padum-Nimmu highway. The road is under construction and will provide an alternate route to the Army from Himachal to Leh.
All-weather connectivity the target
- Ever since the face-off with China in Galwan valley, the Centre is keen to explore the possibility of all-weather connectivity to Leh from Manali side, especially for military purpose.
- The Shinkula Pass receives heavy snowfall, blocking traffic movement on the under-construction Darcha-Padum highway.
- The highway will be connected at Nimmu from Padum ahead at the Kargil-Leh highway to provide connectivity to Leh via the Keylong-Darcha-Shinku La-Padum-Nimmu highway.