BRO builds world’s highest motorable road in Ladakh at 19,300 feet

A Border Roads Organization (BRO) team is currently making history by building the world’s first glacial motorable road in Ladakh. A few months ago, the BRO built a 35-kilometer bridge that leads to Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield. Building the bridge was a difficult task, but it is of great strategic importance. You can read more about this road here. Here are five tips you need to know about building the first dynamic road on a glacier! 

In a significant achievement, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) has built the world’s highest motorable road in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, passing through Umlingla Top at a height of over 19,300 feet. This achievement was achieved under the organization ‘Project Himank’ of November 02, 2017, which started in August 1985. Umling La is now the highest motorable road in the world at 19,300 feet. The Broad Roads Organization’s (BRO) road leads to Umling La, the world’s highest motorable road, beating Khardung La at 17,900 feet and Chang La Pass at 17,695 feet.

The Border Roads Organization (whose project is under Himank) has built the world’s tallest moving pass in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, called Umling La, which rises 19,300 feet above the Umling La peak. It connects the villages of Chasumal and Demchok, 230 km from Leh. Khardang is doubling the lane of the world’s highest motorable road at La, which connects the Siachen Glacier as well as the Chinese border. The road at the top is covered with snow almost all year round.

However, there is another world record for elevation in this northern region of Indian Tibet: Khardung La, the world’s busiest road. Khardung La is a transit road located at an altitude of 5,600 meters (or 16,000 feet) above sea level. At an altitude of 5,610 meters, Mana Pass stands as the highest motor road in India, and contrary to popular belief about the Khardung La, it is the most accessible road in the world. The symbol claims 17,582 feet, or 5,358 meters, and claims that the Tanglang La is the second highest pass in the world.

Srinagar: In a major achievement, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) has constructed the world’s highest motorable road in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, passing through Umling La Top at an altitude of 19,300 feet.

This feat was achieved under the BRO’s “Project Himank”. Due to its proximity to Hanle, the 86-kilometer Strategic Road connects the villages of Chisum and Demchok, 230 km from Leh, via the Umling La Top. These villages are very close to India. 

A spokesman for the BRO, China’s border in the eastern region, said. Brigadier DM, Chief Engineer, Project Himank, congratulates the BRO personnel on completing the Herculean task. Road construction at an altitude of more than 19,300 feet is life-threatening, Purvimath said. “The climate of this place is always negative for construction activities,” he said.

Officials working on the project, known as Mountain Tamers, were responsible for building the world’s highest motorable road at an altitude of 19,300 feet. He also opened the highway connecting Srinagar to Leh in May 1999, allowing India to make strategic, timely military progress during the Kargil war. The same team is now building the road between Sasoma and Saser La. 

The plan is extremely challenging, and the weather conditions add to the problem. Street development is extraordinary as a result of the difficulties presented by ice sheets and the presence of moraines around there. In addition to the dangerous weather, there is a risk of cold, bone-chilling winds, and jogging, and avalanches during road construction.

The 50 km long section of the highway has already been constructed, and BRO officials have had little opportunity for construction due to the difficult weather conditions. “Better use of short waiting periods is needed to ensure efficient use of manpower and resources. Planning begins four to five months before the start of the working season,” the official added. “A BRO official can do very little to prevent the ice wall from opening up, but because of that, given the commitment and strategy of the troops, we can move this project forward,” he said.

Explaining the weather conditions, the spokesman said construction workers have to endure. During the winter, the temperature drops to minus 50 degrees Celsius, while at the peak of summer, the temperature drops to 12 degrees. Working in these conditions can be a daunting task, and the fact is that glaciers move permanently as the ice melts.

“During the summer, the temperature stays between minus 10 and 20 degrees Celsius, and in the winter, it drops to minus 40 degrees.” Severe weather and oxygen levels have reduced the capacity of machines and manpower by 50%. Additionally, machine administrators need to descend at regular intervals for oxygen. 

At such heights, logistics was another major challenge, the brigadier said. “Taking, repairing, and managing equipment at such a height is a big job because there are so many defects in the equipment,” he said. Due to this classification, the staff suffers from serious health problems such as memory loss, blindness, and high blood pressure, Purvimath said. “Such development isn’t costly, yet given the public and key significance of the street, our men and apparatus worked for the time being to meet the objectives set by the Director-General of Border Roads.

BRTF 753 Commander Pradeep Raj, who oversaw the construction of the road in the area, said BRO personnel were given a tedious process and substantial training after being assigned before the job. Did he say that before joining this field, men’s virtualization is done in three stages namely Leh, Shakti, and Numa? 

Due to the limited working season in the area, the emphasis is on men’s physical and mental fitness to work in the area, he said. Project Himank has already built roads at 17,900 feet, connecting Khardung La and Chang La Pass, connecting the Nubra valley and Durbuk valley in Leh.

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