Over 12.7 lakh vehicles crossed Atal Tunnel last year; over 60% rise in traffic
- The maximum monthly traffic in the Atal Tunnel was registered in the months of June, December and May in 2022.
A total of 12,73,699 vehicles cross the Atal Tunnel Rohtang (ATR) during the last year, as per data from Lahaul and Spiti Police. While approximately 6,22,988 vehicles entered through Atal Tunnel Rohtang (ATR) in the year 2022, around 6,50,711 vehicles exited through the tunnel. There has been an approximately 60% increase in vehicular traffic in the tunnel over the year 2021.
The maximum monthly traffic was registered in the months of June, December and May (in descending order), i.e. 2,25,045, 2,02,974 and 2,11,824 respectively. The maximum traffic recorded for a single day was on December 26, 2022, which was 19,383. This is also the highest number for any day since Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel Rohtang on October 3, 2020.
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In the year 2021, the tunnel saw around 3,76,870 vehicles entering the district and around 4,23,071 vehicles exiting through ATR, which was 7,99,941 vehicles in total. Therefore, there has been an increase of approximately 4.73 lakh vehicles in 2022 compared to the previous year.
The Atal Tunnel has been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the 9.02-km tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in the world. It connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti Valley ensuring movement throughout the year. It has been designed for traffic density of 3,000 cars and 1,500 trucks per day.
The tunnel reduces the road distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres and the time by about four to five hours. It has been 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 decision to construct the tunnel was taken by Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government back in June of 2000. The foundation stone was laid in May of 2002.