The 8.8 horseshoe shaped tunnel which would connect the tribal area of Lahaul- Spiti and shall ensure connectivity throughout the year, has got delayed by one year, the tunnel which was expected to complete in 2015 shall now be completed in 2016
Chief engineer of Rohtang tunnel project, S P Sharma, while attending a meeting with Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh and Union surface transport minister Oscar Fernandes in Shimla said work was delayed due to hard rock strata, seepage of water and falling debris. He said the project may not be completed as proposed, but all efforts would be made to provide connectivity by 2016.
Currently Lahaul-Spiti is connected by Rohtang Pass. But in the winter due to heavy snow on the pass. The tribal area is cut off from the world for six months, which starts from November and ends in May.
The tunnel not only ensures connectivity throughout the year, but also will decrease the distance and time between Manali and Lahaul-Spiti . The main headquarter of Lahaul-Spiti,Keylong which is 85 kms from Manali the distance shall be decreased by 60kms. The time taken now is around 5 hours to keylong, without taking into account the long hours of traffic jams on the arduous route. The same distance would be covered in less than half-an-hour through the tunnel.