State-owned SAIL on Friday said it has supplied over 9,000 tonnes of steel for the all-weather Atal Tunnel which reduces the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kms and travel time by four to five hours.
Atal Tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in the world. The 9.02 km long tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley, ensuring connectivity throughout the year. The valley was earlier cut off for about six months every year due to heavy snowfall.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the tunnel on Saturday along with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
In a statement, the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) said it has contributed to the mega project by supplying more than 9,000 tonnes of steel.
Two-thirds of the total 15,000 tonnes of steel used in the project has been supplied by SAIL, it said.
Out of the 9,000 tonnes, 6,500 tonnes was TMT, 1,500 tonnes structurals and 1,000 tonnes plates for fabricating beams, besides a small quantity of GP/GC sheets for constructing stations and control rooms.
"The tunnel will be of great significance to the locals as well as for strategic movements. It will boost connectivity of the Spiti Valley. This is an achievement considering the very challenging conditions of the construction site and weather," Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was quoted as saying in the statement.
SAIL Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary said, "It is a proud moment for the company to have partnered in such an important project for strengthening India. As India moves forward in becoming Atmanirbhar, SAIL will participate in producing the strong steel needed to fuel every infrastructural need of the nation.
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