Atal Tunnel: 9,000 tonnes of steel supplied by SAIL
On October 3, 2020, PM Modi is to inaugurate the Atal Tunnel, the world longest high-altitude tunnel. It is the world’s longest tunnel to be located above the altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 feet).
About the Tunnel
The tunnel is 9.02 km long. The tunnel reduces the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km. The tunnel is located beneath Pir Pinjal range. The journey between Manali valley and Lahaul and Spiti Valley that is usually takes five hours will now take 10 minutes. The tunnel is highly beneficial for the defence troops stationed in Ladakh. Also, the tunnel is beneficial to the residents of Lahaul and Spiti Valley who remain cut off from the rest of the country during winters.
Capacity of the Tunnel
The tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 1500 trucks per day and 3000 cars per day with a maximum speed of 80 km/hr. The roadway of the tunnel is of 8 metres and the overhead clearance is of 5.525 metres. It was built at a cost of Rs 3,300 crores.
Safety Features of the Tunnel
The tunnel includes an emergency escape tunnel. It has telephones every 150 metres, emergency exit every 500 metres and fire hydrant every 60 metres. The other safety features of the tunnel are as follows
- Auto-incident Detection system with CCTV cameras at every 250 metres
- Evacuation lighting at every 25 metres
- Air Quality monitoring at every 60 metres
- Fire rated dampers at every 50 metres
- Broadcasting systems throughout the tunnel
Role of SAIL
SAIL has supplied 9,000 tonnes of steel required to build the tunnel. This includes 6,500 TMT (Thermo Mechanically Treated) bars, 1000 tonnes of steel plates and 1,500 tonnes of structural.
The Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is the largest steel producing company in India. The majority of the steel used in the construction of Atal Rohtang Tunnel.
Under National Steel Policy, India has set a target of producing 300 million tonnes of steel by 2030.