World’s highest motorable road to come up in Ladakh?

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The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has embarked on a remarkable feat by constructing a 64 km extended Likaru-Mig La-Fukche roadway near Hanle in Eastern Ladakh. Once completed, this road will claim the title of the world’s highest motorable road, reaching an astonishing elevation of 19,400 ft at Mig La. But which road holds the record to the highest motorable road currently?

Current Record Holder

The current holder of this title is the Umling La road in Ladakh, standing at 19,024 ft. This 52 km road connects Chishumle to Demchok, running along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a contentious area between India and China. So, why is the new roadway important?

Strategic Significance

The new Likaru-Mig La-Fukche roadway will play a pivotal role in providing the armed forces with easier access to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), stretching across the Indus Valley in Fukche to Demchok. Fukche itself is a mere three kilometers from the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

Time-Saving Feeder Road

Additionally, the road will serve as a feeder road to the Chushul-Dungti-Fukche-Demchok (CDFD) road, running parallel to the LAC. This will significantly reduce the time required to reach the LAC. Beyond its strategic importance, the road is expected to drive socio-economic development in neighboring villages. Furthermore, the question arises, how much money has been allocated to this project?

Budget Allocation

To support this ambitious project, approximately INR 520 crore has been allocated for its construction. However, it’s worth noting that the region is susceptible to heavy snowfall, with temperatures plummeting to as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius in winter.

Geographical Insights

Lt. Gen. Rakesh Sharma (retired), who formerly commanded the Fire and Fury Corps in Ladakh, highlighted the region’s geography. The Indus River enters from Tibet at Demchok, flowing 75 km between the Kailash range and Ladakh range before turning westwards, dividing the Ladakh range at Dungti. The new road will provide a crucial alternative route connecting the Chumar sector and Hanle sector to the Indus Valley, enhancing accessibility and strategic positioning in this challenging terrain.