Border Roads Organisation (BRO) engineering marvel, Atal Tunnel, constructed in Rohtang in Himachal Pradesh, won the Indian Building Congress (IBC) ‘Best Infrastructure Project’ award in New Delhi on Thursday.
Over 30 state-of-the-art infrastructure projects were nominated for the Best Infrastructure Project award. The strategic tunnel was selected as the ‘Best Project for Excellence in Built Environment’ in 2021 by the IBC jury.
Director-General of the BRO, Lt General Rajeev Chaudhry, accepted the award during the 25th annual convention of the IBC for the BRO’s achievement in building this tunnel linking Manali to the Lahaul-Spiti valley.
Lt General Chaudhry told the media that the tunnel besides presenting the armed forces a strategic advantage by providing an alternate link to the critical Ladakh sector has also been a boon for the locals of Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh.
The area has seen unprecedented growth in tourist footfalls, and the valley and state have seen an exponential increase in the socio-economic sphere in less than a year, he said.
The tunnel, constructed using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM), was dedicated to the country by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 3, 2020.
It is fitted with a semi-transverse ventilation system, where large fans individually circulate air throughout the tunnel. An emergency tunnel has been integrated into the tunnel cross-section under the main carriageway for evacuation during emergencies.
Fires inside the tunnel will be controlled within a 200 metres area, and fire hydrants are present in specific areas throughout the tunnel.
Pollution sensors constantly monitor the air quality in the tunnel, and if the air quality is below the desired level, fresh air is injected into the tunnel through two heavy-duty fans on each side.