File Photo
File Photo

The Himachal Pradesh Police has arrested 10 tourists and seized three vehicles for obstructing traffic inside Atal Tunnel in Rohtang, a police officer said.

The tourists stopped their vehicles inside the tunnel, played music and started dancing which led to a traffic jam on Thursday, Kullu Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh said.

The 10 tourists from Delhi, most of them in their twenties and thirties, were arrested and their three cars seized, he said.

They have been booked under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang remained closed today from 11 am to 12 pm for maintenance work and the appropriate notification was sent by the Lahaul Spiti Police earlier in the day.

The South Portal (SP) of Atal Tunnel is located at a distance of 25 km from Manali at an altitude of 3,060 metres, while the North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is located near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3,071 metres.

The world's longest tunnel at an altitude of 10,040 feet, Atal Tunnel has become a tourist destination since it was thrown open to the public by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October.

The 9.02-km underpass beneath 13,058-feet-high Rohtang Pass connects Lahaul of Lahaul-Spiti district and Manali of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh.

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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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