Atal Tunnel might be one of the hottest tourist destinations in India currently. Atal tunnel is the highest tunnel in India located at a height of or elevation rather, of no less than 10,000 ft. It might have eased the transportation but one cannot escape nature’s wrath. As many as 300 tourists were rescued from Atal tunnel on Manali-Leh highway on Saturday night. The tourists had been stuck in the area due to fresh snowfall on Saturday.
A large number of tourist vehicles crossed the Atal tunnel early Saturday morning to move towards Lahaul valley from Manali. Later, the weather turned inclement in the region and it started snowing heavily near the tunnel and its nearby places in the area.
As a result, the road had become slippery for the movement of vehicles in the region, which caused a long traffic jam in the area. Lahaul and Spiti police then coordinated with their counterparts in Kullu to clear the tunnel. As many as 70 vehicles, including 14 multi utility vehicles (Maruti Gypsy), a 48 seater bus, a 24 seater police bus and a police quick reaction team (QRT) were deployed for the rescue mission, Singh said.
As per forecast by the Meteorological Department, snowfall around the tunnel is expected in the coming days. Issuing a yellow weather warning for heavy snowfall in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, the MeT Department had forecast rain and snowfall in mid and high hills of the state from January 3 to 5 and on January 8.
The Atal tunnel was recently inaugurated by our Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and it was built to cut down travel time and ease lives. It’s a 9.02 km of all-weather tarmac that connects Manali to Lahaul Spiti. The Atal tunnel reduces the distance from Manali to Leh by around 46 kilometres. That might not sound much but go there and you will realise it saves as much as 5 hours of travel time.
Recently, a video of people jamming the tunnel and partying went viral. It subsequently reached the Himachal Pradesh police and then, they swung into action. The police arrested 7 tourists and seized 3 cars breaking rules and causing inconvenience.