Shimla:Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Atal Tunnel, world's longest tunnel in Himachal Pradesh's Rohtang, which will reduce the travel time between Leh and Manali by 4-5 hours and shorten the distance by 46 Kms.
In an apparent reference to the previous UPA regime, said that such strategic defence projects were being neglected and delayed earlier.
"Not only Atal tunnel, I can talk about dozens of projects that were important from the strategic point of view, but for years they were neglected," the Prime Minister said.
Mr Modi said that the project, named after named after late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, would certainly accelerate the pace of development in Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir besides helping the Indian defence forces to establish round the year connectivity.
"The situation is changing rapidly with such development projects. A dozen of projects have been completed in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and north eastern part of country which would help people and Indian jawans supplies the ration and other material quickly", the Prime Minister underlined.
Quoting the experts, Mr Modi claimed that after the Vajpayee-led NDA government, the pace of the project had slowed down to such a level that the tunnel would have been completed by 2040, but, the pace of construction was increased after 2014.
"The pace of construction work was increased from 300 meter per year to 1300 meter because of which we completed the work by 2020", the PM said.(UNI)