World’s Highest Motorable Road in Ladakh- A Feather in Cap for India

A bedrock achievement for India, the Border Roads Organisation of India (BRO) has commenced the construction of the world’s highest road, which is in the vicinity of the India-China Border and is prodigious to its harbinger projects. It is a part of the strategic and significant Project HIMANK, which was launched to boost socio-economic growth and enhance infrastructure and capability in the high altitude areas of India such as Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Under this project, the Indian army has undertaken the construction of several road projects in the areas to improve the connective as well as mobility of the forces.

Located in the Demchok sector of Eastern Ladakh, the 64 km long Likaru-Mig-la Fukche Road construction has been initiated by BRO, which will be the highest motorable road at an elevation of 19,400 km after completion. At present, the Umling La, located in Ladakh, is at an elevating height of 19024 feet with a 52 km stretch linking the Chishumle to Demchok, which is regarded as the highest motorable road pass in the globe. As per the media reports, the construction of this strategically important road begins under the skilled hands of all women units of the BRO engineers on August 15, 2023. It is estimated that the road linking Likaru with Fukche will play a vital role in providing access to the army forces of India that are to be deployed all inland Indus Valley in Fukche, which is only 3 km away from the LAC in the eastern region of Ladakh.

The infrastructure development of this prestigious road is believed to be a boon for the military as it is in proximity to the LAC, helping the forces in transporting troops, mobilisation, and operating several military operations seamlessly. However, with the extreme climatic challenges, BRO is facing productivity issues related to both machines and manpower. Another significant challenge that is faced by the department is logistics at a high altitude. The manpower suffering from heatstroke in summers and frost bites in the chilling winters adds more difficulty for the construction team.

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The project will be completed in three stages to combat the ongoing challenges, with the first being commenced at Leh and the other two at Shakti and Nuba before being in this sector. Project HIMANK, the flagship project Under the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), is believed to lead the overall development of both infrastructure as well as social economic development in the adjacent villages. Higher than the Mount Everest base camp, this road is poised to become the world’s highest motorable road, making India’s position significant in the globe. 

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