HistoryTV18 to air making-of documentary ‘Modern Marvel: Atal Tunnel’

HistoryTV18 to air making-of documentary ‘Modern Marvel: Atal Tunnel’

It will premiere on 20 October at 9 p.m.


Mumbai: The most recent documentary on HistoryTV18, Modern Marvel: Atal Tunnel, tells the amazing tale of the resilient human spirit and the marvels of contemporary engineering. A never-before-seen account of a record-breaking achievement that was accomplished under extremely difficult circumstances. HistoryTV18 is premiering the making of a documentary on 20 October at 9 p.m.

Speaking about the programme, Network18 Broadcast CEO and A+E Networks managing director Avinash Kaul said, "With Modern Marvel: Atal Tunnel the team at HistoryTV18 continues to deliver riveting originals, with top-notch production values and exemplary storytelling that bring to life India’s stories that are as important historically as they are entertaining and engaging. The Atal Tunnel is undoubtedly one of the great modern marvels of 21st-century India, in its making we have witnessed the making of history. We’re proud to have had the opportunity to tell its remarkable story."

The action-packed half-hour documentary on HistoryTV18 reveals little-known information, sheds light on the scope and complexity of the undertaking, and provides a step-by-step explanation of the difficulties and what it takes to complete the mission. The performance vividly depicts how the never-say-die attitude triumphed on this amazing Himalayan trip.

The documentary was partially shot throughout the winter to show the harsh weather that prevails then. The story highlights the difficulties and failures that the project's 750 officers, engineers, geologists, seismologists, drilling specialists, and more than 3,000 labourers overcome to make the idea a reality.

Speaking about the importance of the tunnel, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Strategically and for its national importance, the tunnel is a blessing for our country. Along with its economic benefits, the tunnel also has great importance from a social perspective."

The documentary also features Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar, and BRO Director General, Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhry, who provide valuable insights. The Atal Tunnel project’s chief engineer, KP Purushothaman, shares a first-person account of what transpired hundreds of metres inside the mountain.

Archival images and footage from the construction site enrich the storytelling, while aerial shots of the mesmerising snow peaks, filmed in 4K and high definition, provide the daunting backdrop against which the story unfolds.

India's newest man-made wonder, which pierces through the Pir Panjal range in the Western Himalayas, was dedicated to the country on 3 October 2020. It is the world's longest high-altitude highway tunnel. The 9.02 kilometre long tunnel and road link, which connects Leh, in the strategically important region of Ladakh, with Manali via Keylong in Himachal Pradesh, is located at an altitude of more than 10,000 feet. Access to areas beyond the perilous Rohtang Pass was restricted for about seven months of the year due to severe snowfall. The residents of Himachal's Lahaul and Spiti now have much-needed connectivity thanks to the all-weather route made possible by tunnelling through the pass.

A meeting between Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the prime minister at the time, and his childhood friend, Arjun Gopal, a resident of Lahaul, led to the conception of the tunnel. But it would be many years before the project began, only picking up steam under the Modi government, which gave it a much-needed boost by speeding up construction by five times what it had been under prior administrations.

Speaking at the inauguration of the tunnel, prime minister Narendra Modi underlined his commitment to fast-tracking projects of national interest, "When one wants to move on the path of development at a rapid pace and there is a strong desire for the development of the people of the country, then the speed has to be increased."

It was not only ambitious but had never been done before, anywhere in the world, to tunnel 10,000 feet below in the Himalayas while enduring blizzards, avalanches, and nature's great fury. But the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), a specialist branch of the Indian Armed Forces, was established to carry out precisely that kind of task. The BRO has been in charge of linking India's farthest frontiers and remote areas since 1960. Its role is essential given India's expanding national security concerns and defence requirements.