Friendship that bridged tunnel of hope at Rohtang – chandigarh
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi opens the 9.2-km Atal Tunnel underneath the 13,050-ft Rohtang Move in Himachal Pradesh, on October 3, he shall be paying tribute to a bond of friendship between ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a tribal farmer, Tashi Dawa.
It was Dawa, alias Arjun Gopal, who had prompt to Vajpayee get a tunnel constructed underneath Rohtang, which within the native Bhoti dialect interprets into “a pile of our bodies” in view of the excessive casualty price of these attempting to cross the treacherous terrain within the winter months. Satisfied, Vajpayee laid the muse stone of the tunnel on Might 23, 2002, whereas work on the challenge began in 2010.
“It took 10 years however this tunnel brings hope for the folks of Lahaul-Spiti. With all-weather highway connectivity, the dream of Vajpayee and Dawa has been realised,” says Ram Lal Makand, the BJP legislator from the area.
Dawa, who belonged to Tholang village in Lahaul valley, and Vajpayee had been mates throughout their keep on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) camp in Baroda, Gujarat, in 1942. Vajpayee used to name on Dawa at any time when he visited his cottage at Prini village on the outskirts of Manali.
Dawa handed away in 2007 on the age of 83 and Vajpayee in 2018.
ECONOMY GETS A FILLIP
The opening of the tunnel will fortify the all-round growth within the tribal valley. It’s going to revolutionise horticulture, agriculture and tourism.
Farmers will get round-the-year entry to markets and the diminished distance will convey down the transportation price. Agriculture and horticulture items are anticipated to return up within the valley.
Greens reminiscent of potato, cauliflower and cabbage are grown on this belt, whereas medicinal vegetation reminiscent of seabuckthorn develop in abundance. Individuals can have the choice of taking on poultry and dairy farming.
BOOST FOR TOURISM
The tunnel will improve the vacationer stream to the area, opening up new employment and self-employment avenues. With all-weather entry to the valley, new inns are anticipated to return up, creating jobs and stopping migration.
The valley residents shall have entry to improved schooling and healthcare providers.
A couple of residents, nonetheless, worry the value of the abrupt mannequin of growth. “Senseless mass tourism will add to the haphazard building and this area could begin resembling different well-liked vacationer locations of Himachal Pradesh,” mentioned a resident, requesting anonymity.
The influence on the susceptible ecosystem of the valley additionally must be assessed. Native tradition and custom will even should be protected.
MILESTONES TO ATAL TUNNEL
June 2000: Then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee proclaims building of the tunnel underneath Rohtang Move throughout a public assembly at Keylong.
Might 6, 2002: Building work entrusted to Border Roads Organisation.
Might 23, 2002: Vajpayee lays the muse stone of the tunnel.
June 28, 2010: United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi launches building work of the tunnel.
October 3, 2020: The 9.2-km tunnel shall be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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