While waterways and airways rise in popularity nowadays, we can say that the network of roads and railways of India are the most common methods for communication among people. The construction and proposition of the longest tunnels in India – both the railway and road, is another effort for making any 2 places somewhat more accessible and bringing them closer together.
Atal Road tunnel
One of such longest tunnels in India is the Atal Road tunnel which is located in Himachal Pradesh. It is India’s longest high-altitude tunnel and was inaugurated in the year 2020 on October 3rd by PM Narendra Modi. Formerly it was referred to as Rohtang Tunnel. Later the magnificent tunnel was named after the former PM of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The construction of the tunnel started in 2010 and once it gets completed, it is expected for decreasing the distance between Manali and Keylong by at least 46 kilometres. The tunnel that is built below Rohtang pass, in the eastern part of a glorious range of Pir Panjal, has a width of 10 metres. It is at around 3000 m of attitude.
Pir Panjal tunnel
The longest railway tunnel in the country is the Pir Panjal tunnel that is in Jammu and Kashmir. It runs across the heart of Himalayan ranges in J&K and is also called t-80. This single-track was inaugurated in 2013 and since then has stayed unrivalled in its position. It has an elevation of almost 1800 metres and is raised to about 7 m. It is almost 8 and a half metres wide and the average time taken for passing through the Tunnel is 9 minutes.
Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road tunnel is the longest road tunnel located in Jammu and Kashmir again. It is referred to as simply Shyama Tunnel, Chenani Nashri tunnel or Patnitop tunnel. It was inaugurated in 2017 and consists of 2 tubes which run in parallel directions. The primary tunnel for traffic has a 13 m diameter and another additional safety tunnel is also present with a 6 metres diameter. It is at an elevation of almost 4000 feet and successfully reduces the distance between the capital of Jammu and itself from 41 km to over 9 km. Presently the time taken for travelling between those two places stands as 2 hours less as compared to the previous time.
Kerala’s Trivandrum port tunnel is currently under construction and is set to be recognised as the second-largest railway Tunnel in India. The proposal of making this tunnel was made in an attempt to link Vizhinjam International seaport to the upcoming railway network. The Trivandrum Tunnel is expected to get completed this year itself and it will be part of a railway track that will run along about 11 km.
Another tunnel named Rapuru railway tunnel is situated in Andhra Pradesh and is the first and longest electrified tunnel of the railway in India. It is built in the shape of a horseshoe and was inaugurated in 2019. Since then it has decreased the time taken for travelling between Obulavaripalli and Venkatachalam by 5 hours successfully. Its height of it is almost 6 and a half metres and it provides the shortest distance between Chennai and Mumbai and also Howrah and Chennai.