Shimla: On the eve of the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Central government on Tuesday announced to name the Rohtang tunnel, a road link between Kullu and landlocked Lahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh, after Vajpayee.
Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur thanked the Union government for acceding to the request of the state to rename the tunnel as a mark of respect to the late BJP stalwart, who had laid the foundation stone for the tunnel in 2003.
Thakur said the tunnel would not only provide all-weather connectivity to the landlocked Lahaul-Spiti district but will also attract tourists to the district.
The Border Roads Organisation, a wing of the Central government that constructs and maintains crucial road links along international borders, has been tasked with the construction of the 8.80 km horseshoe-shaped tunnel which lies beneath the Rohtang Pass.
The most ambitious and expensive undertaking of its kind, the excavation of the tunnel was completed in October 2017. Now the civil engineering work is on.
An engineer involved in the tunnel construction told IANS that electrical and ventilation works are in progress.
"Most likely the tunnel would be made operational by May-June 2020," he said.