Jammu & KashmirNorth India

All about the Ladakh bridge situated on the world’s highest road

There are several developmental projects currently underway.

With the inauguration of this bridge along with 26 other projects around the country, 2021 marked a record for BRO, which completed 102 projects in the year.

It’s a proud moment for Indians and (BRO) Borders Roads Organisation as it completed the building of 27 projects. On Tuesday all these projects were inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. It included 24 bridges and three roads, most of which are situated in the border areas.

But wait, the good news isn’t over yet. The best part is that one of these 24 bridges has now become the world’s highest motorable road, passing through a pass situated at an elevation of 19,000 feet. Isn’t this super crazy and cool? Keep reading to know more about why this is important news.

The new road and its importance

The Road

The road is in south Ladakh, connecting Chisumle and Demchok. It passes through a pass that is at a height of over 19,000 feet, known as Umling La. This pass was recently recognized as such by Guinness World Records. The height of over 19,000 feet makes it the highest motorable road in the world.

It’s even hard to imagine how this road was built at a place where the temperature falls below minus 40 degrees Celsius and oxygen levels go down to 50 percent below normal. This road is the previous record of a road in  Bolivia that connects the volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet. But the new highest road is a 52-km road ‘black-top’ tarmac road from Chisumle to Demchok.

Although, only a single road and not the whole bridge were inaugurated on Tuesday by the Defence Minister. The 60-meter bridge has been built at the point called Km 99.3 on the road.

Top of the world

The crazy part is that at the pass, the road soars higher than the base camps that reach Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain.

The South Base Camp in Nepal is at a height of 17,598 ft, while North Base Camp in Tibet is at 16,900 ft. The Chisum-Demchok road is surprisingly also higher than the Siachen Glacier, standing tall at 17,700 feet.

Even one of the previous highest roads, Khardung La in Leh, is at an altitude of 17,582 feet.

The importance

The road has been black-topped only this year even though the project to build the road through the pass was completed in 2017. And the vehicles have already started taking up the role since then.

The most important aspect of this new axis, however, comes with the completion of the bridge that was inaugurated by the Minister. As the axis is now complete, it provides a direct route from Chisumle, which lies on the major road coming from Leh, Karu, and Nyoma — all of which have important military stations — to Demchok, which is close to the Line of Control.

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