The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) engineering marvel Atal Tunnel built in Rohtang in Himachal Pradesh received the Indian Building Congress' (IBC) 'Best Infrastructure Project' award on Thursday in New Delhi.
More than thirty state-of-the-art infrastructure projects were nominated for the award. The strategic tunnel was adjudged by the Jury of the IBC as the Best Project for Excellence in Built Environment in 2021.
Director General of the BRO, Lt General Rajeev Chaudhry, received the award during the 25th annual convention of the IBC for the achievement of the BRO in constructing this tunnel connecting Manali to the Lahaul-Spiti Valley.
He said that the tunnel, besides offering the Armed Forces a strategic advantage by providing an alternate link to the critical Ladakh Sector, has also been a boon for the residents of Lahaul and Spiti District in Himachal Pradesh.
The region has seen an unprecedented increase in tourist footfalls, and in a little more than a year the valley and the state have witnessed exponential growth in the socio-economic sphere.
The tunnel, built by using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 3, 2020.
It is equipped with a semi-transverse ventilation system, where large fans separately circulate air throughout the tunnel. An emergency tunnel has been integrated into the tunnel cross-section beneath the main carriageway for evacuation during emergencies.
Fires inside the tunnel will be controlled within an area of 200 metres and fire hydrants are provided at specific locations throughout the tunnel.
Pollution sensors continuously monitor the air quality in the tunnel and if the air quality is below the desired level, fresh air is injected into the tunnel via two heavy duty fans on each side of the tunnel.