UGC asks universities to encourage students to visit Atal Tunnel


Students will appreciate the ‘technological marvel’, UGC Secretary said.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked universities and engineering colleges to share details of the Atal Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh with students and encourage them to visit the “technological marvel“.

The Commission directed that students must follow COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Centre as well as the State governments during their visit to the tunnel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel, the world’s longest motorable tunnel in Rohtang, in October.

“Situated at an altitude above 10,000 ft, this 9.02-km tunnel has been constructed in an extremely difficult and hostile climate, deploying the latest and best practices in tunnel technology with state-of-the-art features, including semi-transverse ventilation, SCADA controlled fire-fighting, illumination and monitoring system,” UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said in a letter to vice-chancellors.

The all-weather Atal tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km and the travel time by four to five hours. It is the longest highway tunnel in the world.

“It is desired that the knowledge of this technological marvel of the country, encompassing the best practices in engineering, design, planning, construction and project management be disseminated to students of engineering colleges who should be encouraged to visit this tunnel to see, appreciate and assimilate the capabilities in tunnelling efforts which now exist within the country,” he added.

The tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 metres.

The south portal of Atal Tunnel is located at a distance of 25 km from Manali at an altitude of 3,060 metres, while its north portal is located near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3,071 metres.

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