In Eastern Ladakh, an alternative road has been constructed at an altitude of 19,300 feet to connect Chisumle and Demchok from Leh, as per the government statement. Constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the altitude of the 52-km tarmac road through the Umlingla pass is higher than the Mount Everest base camps.
The road at Umlingla Pass constructed at an altitude of 19,300 ft betters the previous record of a road in Bolivia at 18,953 ft connecting to its volcano Uturuncu. Umlingla pass is now connected with a blacktop road, the Defence Ministry, on August 4, said.
The government noted that developing infrastructure in a harsh and tough terrain is extremely challenging, especially during winters when the temperature dips below –40 degrees and the oxygen level is about 50% less than normal.
“The Border Roads Organisation or BRO achieved the feat due to the grit and resilience of its personnel who work in treacherous terrain and extreme weather conditions,” the government stated.
The significance of the road is that it connects important towns in the Chumar sector, meaning it is a boon to the local people as this alternative route connects Chisumle and Demchok, Leh.
The region, including the Chumar sector, has been witnessing a protracted standoff since May 2020. As many as 60,000 troops are stationed in the vicinity along with equipment like tanks, artillery guns, etc. The high altitude is a big challenge in terms of supplying logistics to the troops. This new road has been constructed to maintain the troop level by offering assistance to them.
“The road will enhance the socio-economic condition and promote tourism in Ladakh,” said the government.