Atal Tunnel inauguration: PM Modi to be accorded traditional welcome
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will get a glimpse of the unique culture and traditions of Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts during his brief five-hour visit to the hill state on October 3 to inaugurate the strategic Atal Tunnel in Rohtang.
As per the reception plan, approved by the cabinet, Modi will be accorded a grand welcome upon his arrival at four points as per the traditions of the districts. The PM, who will return to New Delhi the same day, will be accompanied by Union defence minister Rajnath Singh and Union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur.
The PM’s helicopter will land at the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) helipad in Manali at 9am where will be welcomed by Himachal chief minister (CM) Jai Ram Thakur, Himachal assembly speaker Vipin Parmar, urban development minister Suresh Bhardwaj, rural development and panchayati raj minister Virendra Kanwar. Alternate arrangements have been made in case the helicopter fails to land at the SASE helipad.
Jal shakti minister Mahendra Singh Thakur, technical education minister Ramlal Markaday and social justice and empowerment minister Sarveen Chaudhary will greet the PM at the south portal of the tunnel.
Industries minister Bikram Singh Thakur and forest minister Rakesh Pathania will be stationed at the north portal while deputy speaker Hansraj will oversee the arrangements at Bhunter.
The 9.2 kilometre-long tunnel under the Rohtang Pass has been named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had announced the project on June 3.The Atal tunnel is the world’s longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres. It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres and reduce travel time by 4.5 hours. It will also speed up movement of troops to the border areas.