Tourists number, crossing Atal Tunnel, swarming exponentially
In the year 2022, more than 12 lakh vehicles moved through the Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, built in Lahaul Spiti, tribal district of Himachal. According to Lahaul Spiti Police, in the year 2022, about 6,22,988 vehicles entered and about 6,50,711 vehicles exited from Atal Tunnel, Rohtang in Lahaul Valley.
Therefore, 12,73,699 vehicles crossed the tunnel in the whole year. It can be inferred from this that the tourists have started liking the valley of Lahaul. SP Lahaul Spiti Manav Verma said that this figure is more than the movement in the year 2021. In 2021, about 3,76,870 vehicles had gone and about 4,23,071 vehicles had returned. Overall, there was a movement of 7,99,941 vehicles that year.
In comparison to the previous year 2021, there has been an increase of 4.73 lakh in the number of vehicles crossing the Atal Anal in the year 2022. This is almost 60 per cent more than the number of vehicles registered last year.
It is noteworthy that in the months of June, May and December (in descending order), that is, 2,25045, 2,02,974 and 2,11,824 vehicles moved through the tunnel respectively. The maximum traffic for a single day was recorded on 26 December 2022, which was 19,383. This is the highest number of movements on any day since the opening of the tunnel.
Last year, a total of 16 days saw movement of more than 10,000 vehicles, including 6 days in December. It is also a record number for any year since the opening of the tunnel.
SP Manav Verma says that since the opening of Atal Tunnel Rohtang, the district has faced heavy traffic, which is increasing day by day and year by year. The traffic numbers are expected to increase further this year.
Here it is worth mentioning that Atal Tunnel has officially been certified by the World Book of Records, as the ‘World’s Longest Highway Tunnel above 10,000 Feet’, during a landmark ceremony on 09 February 2022, in New Delhi. Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry, Director General of Border Roads Organisation (DGBR) received the award for the stupendous achievement of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in constructing this engineering marvel connecting Manali to the Lahaul – Spiti Valley.
World Book of Records UK, is an organisation that catalogues and verifies extraordinary records across the world with authentic certification.
The Nation’s pride, the visionary project of Atal Tunnel was dedicated to the Nation by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on October 03, 2020. The 9.02 km long, strategically significant, Atal Tunnel, that runs under the ‘Rohtang Pass’ was constructed on the Manali – Leh Highway under the challenging conditions of freezing temperatures in extremely difficult terrain.
Prior to the construction of the tunnel, the highway remained closed during the winter season for six months, isolating Lahaul & Spiti from the mainland. Construction of this tunnel has reduced the distance on Manali – Sarchu road by 46 km and travel time by four to five hours, providing all-weather connectivity on the Manali – Leh axis..