Approximately 6,22,988 vehicles entered through Atal Tunnel Rohtang (ATR) in Lahaul valley in the year 2022 and around 6,50,711 vehicles exited through ATR, which is 12,73,699 vehicles in total during the year, said Lahaul and Spiti Police. It is far more than the traffic transit through ATR in the year 2021, which was around 3,76,870 vehicles that had entered the district and around 4,23,071 vehicles exited through ATR, which was 7,99,941 vehicles in total, said police.
Therefore, there has been an increase of approximately 4.73 lakh vehicles compared to the previous year. This is an approximate 60 per cent increase from the vehicular traffic number recorded the previous year. The maximum monthly traffic was registered in the months of June, December and May (in descending order), ie 2,25045, 2,02,974 and 2,11,824 respectively. The maximum traffic recorded for a single day was on December 26, 2022, which was 19,383. This is also the highest number for any day since Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Atal Tunnel Rohtang.
A total of 16 days in the past year saw traffic of over 10,000 crossing the tunnel, with December having 6 such days. The district has faced a huge traffic influx since the opening of Atal Tunnel Rohtang, which is increasing day by day gradually, said district police. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang on October 3, 2020.
Named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the 9.02-km tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in the world. It connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti Valley ensuring movement throughout the year. Earlier, the Valley was cut off for about six months each year owing to heavy snowfall.
The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 kilometres between Manali and Leh and the time by about four to five hours. The tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL).