Border Roads Organization (BRO) developed 27 projects have been inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Most of the developed projects are in border areas with 24 being roads and three bridges. One of the bridges is on the world highest motorable road.
The highest motorable road is in south Ladakh, connecting Chisumle and Demchok. It is near a pass known as Umling La, located around 19,000 ft above sea level.
The road overtakes the volcano Uturuncu road in Bolivia, which is located at the height of 18,953 ft.
The bridge has been built at the point called Km 99.3 on the road. The complete road has not been inaugurated but only a stretch.
The Umling La pass
Umling La pass has been used for more than four years but the road has been black-topped for the first time, making journey easier.
The road in the pass is located higher than the base camps for the climb to Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain. It is also higher than the Siachen Glacier.
The project was part of BRO’s Project Himank and was completed in 2017. However, black-topping took place now.
The road was built in extreme conditions as temperatures in the region can fall as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius, and oxygen levels go down to 50 per cent below normal.
The road will provide direct access from Chisumle to Demchok, which is close to the Line of Actual Control.
It will be easier to mobilise troops and equipment, including rations. It will also boost tourism and improve the socio-economic condition of the local people.
It has been a site for India-China flashpoint in 2016. It is also a point of contention during the existing crisis in eastern sector of Ladakh.
Other important projects
BRO also built a double-lane modular Class 70 bridge built on Flag near the Doklam Plateau, located along India-China-Bhutan trijunction.