Images: Rohtang tunnel
The Rohtang tunnel is an 8.8 kilometer-long endeavor, being constructed at an altitude of over 3,000 meters in the Pir Panjal range, which will enable all-weather road access across the Rohtang Pass at a height of 3,978 meters.
The South Portal, where these photographs were taken, is 15 kilometers from Manali in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.
The tunnel will provide all-weather, year-round connectivity to the remote regions of Lahaul and Spiti, and Pangi Valley in Himachal Pradesh and cut travel time by four hours. It is also a failsafe for assuring access to Ladakh in the event of the closure of National Highway 1D, which connects Srinagar to Leh in Ladakh, due to bad weather or, as happened during the Kargil conflict, because of shelling from the Pakistani side of the Line of Control.
The construction of the tunnel began last June.