Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel here at Rohtang on Saturday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane were also present at the inauguration ceremony, which was held shortly after 10 am.
The Atal Tunnel, at 9.02 km is the longest highway tunnel in the world, connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti Valley and will ensure movement throughout the year. Earlier, the Valley was cut off for about six months each year owing to heavy snowfall. The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 kilometres between Manali and Leh and the time by about four to five hours.
The tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL).
The Prime Minister also enquired about the construction process, layout and other details about the Tunnel from the Army officials present.
Following this, Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to address a public gathering at Sissu, Lahaul Valley. (ANI)