Black topping of world’s highest motorable road near LAC completed

It allows quick movement of troops and equipment and also boosts torusim in Ladakh.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed and completed black topping the world’s highest motorable road at Umling La in Eastern Ladakh located at an altitude of 19,300 ft, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

The BRO has created a record in high-altitude road construction, the Ministry said. “It has constructed a 52-km long tarmac road through Umling La…”

The strategic road built under ‘Project Himank’ passes through the Umling La Top and connects Chisumle and Demchok villages. The road is close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and will allow quick movement of troops and equipment.

A defence official said the road construction has a number of phases and while the project had been under way since 2017, only a rough cut was made. Now the complete layers including top black topping has been done four days back, the official said.

“The 52-km Chisumle-Demchok road which includes Umling La pass was connected three years back by completing the formation work. Works have now been completed.”

This includes completion of sub base layers which include non-frost susceptible sub base (NFSSB), layering of Dense Bitumen Macadam (DBM) and Bituminous Concrete (BC) works, two Bailey bridges of span 120 ft and 140 ft respectively and other permanent works.

The Umling La is located at km 24 of the said road and could only be considered the highest motorable pass in the world when black topping of this stretch would get completed, the official said. “That has been done now.”

Harsh and tough terrain

Infrastructure development in such harsh and tough terrain is extremely challenging with temperatures dipping to -40 degrees during winters and oxygen level is almost 50% less than at normal places.

It offers an alternate direct route connecting Chisumle and Demchok from Leh and will enhance the socio-economic condition and promote tourism in Ladakh, the Ministry said.

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