Revolutionizing High-Altitude Environmental Monitoring

Nestled amidst the breathtaking Himalayas, the Atal Tunnel, also known as the Rohtang Tunnel, stands as a testament to human engineering prowess. Named in honor of the visionary former Prime Minister of India, Shri.Atal Bihari Vajpayee, this marvel of modern infrastructure pierces through the mighty Rohtang Pass, weaving its way through the eastern Pir Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. Stretching an impressive 9.02 kilometers, this highway tunnel not only connects regions but also bridges the gap between innovation and environmental consciousness.

At a staggering altitude above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), the Atal Tunnel sets a record as the highest highway single-tube tunnel in the world. A project of such magnitude required unwavering dedication, and it was the Border Road Organisation that valiantly took on the challenge. As the end user of this incredible feat, their commitment to enhancing accessibility and connectivity in the region shines through.

Collaboration and innovation for Advance high altitude environmental monitoring

In a remarkable collaboration, Acoem India in partnership with Savronic Sistem India Pvt. Ltd., has initiated new possibilities of environmental monitoring at the Atal Tunnel. The installation and commissioning of the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System (AAQMS) with three gas analyzers and advanced Weather Monitoring Instruments at both the North and South portals of the tunnel mark a groundbreaking step towards understanding and addressing ecological challenges in the region.

The Atal Tunnel’s Advanced Air Quality Monitoring System serves as an inspiration for future projects, demonstrating the power of innovation and collaboration in safeguarding our planet’s delicate ecosystems. By joining hands against all odds, we can pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future for generations to come.

This pristine region faces the pressing challenges of climate change and melting ice, making it an ecological sensitive zone. To safeguard this delicate ecosystem, the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System (AAQMS) was introduced.

Atal Tunnel's Advanced Air Quality Monitoring System

Better understanding of vehicular impact

Understanding the contribution of vehicular pollution on the road is crucial for mitigating environmental impact. The AAQMS’s real-time data collection from vehicles passing through the tunnel aids in making informed decisions to minimize harmful emissions. By limiting the number of vehicles allowed through the tunnel, authorities strike a balance between human accessibility and environmental protection.

Ensuring safety and minimizing  disruptions with Innovative Lumiose Light Control 

To enhance safety and preserve the surrounding environment, four photometer Lumiose Light control systems were installed at the entrance of the tunnel. These systems intelligently adjust the tunnel’s luminescence based on natural sunlight. This smart adjustment provides a seamless transition for drivers entering or leaving the tunnel, reducing potential disruptions to the ecosystem.

Safeguarding health and environment with air quality monitoring

Acoem’s advanced gas analyzers and weather monitoring Instruments and analytics provides real-time insights into pollution levels at both tunnel ends. Now by closely monitoring air quality and gas emissions, authorities can make informed decisions to curb harmful effects on the environment. This proactive approach empowers them to implement targeted measures that foster cleaner air and a sustainable ecosystem.

Navigating frozen frontiers and delivering against all odds 

Undertaking a groundbreaking environmental monitoring initiative amidst the frozen wilderness of Lahaul Spiti valley comes with its fair share of challenges. Connected to the rest of the world for a mere three months due to extreme freezing conditions, the region demands meticulous planning and resourcefulness. Residents here prepare to endure the harsh winters by stocking food and necessities to last a daunting nine months, a testament to the severity of snowfall.
To navigate the treacherous terrain, only a limited number of vehicles, just 80 per day, are allowed to ply through the snow-covered paths. Securing a vehicle pass necessitates meticulous arrangements, with travel agencies requiring five days’ advance notice for each visit. These logistical hurdles, born out of the valley’s frigid climate, posed considerable obstacles to the installation and commissioning process.

The Unique engineering challenges for Air quality monitoring station installed at both ends demanded a different approach.

  • A sophisticated heating system was incorporated into the shelter to ensure the analyzers function optimally even amidst the bone-chilling -20 degrees Celsius temperatures.
  • The walls of these shelters were specially insulated to preserve the right conditions for accurate data collection. Acoem’s robust analyzers proved to be reliable partners in this project, designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, be it the freezing Rohtang Pass or the scorching regions of Rajasthan.
  • Customizations were made to prevent the glass manifold from freezing and obstructing the airflow, a crucial adaptation for reliable data gathering at the high-altitude installation.
  • The logistics, too, presented their own set of formidable challenges, with the slippery frozen conditions testing the mettle of the installation team. However, the unwavering support of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), a force responsible for constructing roads in India and aiding the armed forces with logistical movement, proved invaluable in overcoming these hurdles.

Together with the dedication and expertise of Savronic Sistem India Pvt. Ltd., the dream of an advanced environmental monitoring system at the Atal Tunnel became a reality.

Pioneering High-Altitude environment monitoring

The Atal Tunnel’s Advanced Air Quality Monitoring System has opened new possibilities for environmental protection in high-altitude regions. It serves as an inspiration for future projects, demonstrating the power of innovation and collaboration in safeguarding our planet’s delicate ecosystems. By joining hands against all odds, we can pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future for generations to come.

Learn more about our Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS)

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Contact us to learn more about our air quality monitoring solutions.

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by Harsh Dixit | | August 8, 2023
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