Amidst Ladakh standoff, India inaugurates world’s highest motorable road

Located in eastern Ladakh at an altitude of 19,300 feet above sea level, the Umling La Pass now houses the world’s highest motorable road.

Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday inaugurated major infrastructure projects in India’s border areas to strengthen the country’s strategic capabilities. The inauguration was done through a virtual event in Delhi amid the border standoff with China.

The projects inaugurated by Rajnath Singh include 24 bridges and three roads constructed by the Border Roads Organization (BRO) in four states and two union territories.

Of the 24 bridges, nine are in Jammu and Kashmir, five each in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, three in Uttarakhand and one each in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Of the three roads, two are in Ladakh and one in West Bengal.

The main attraction was the Chisumle-Demchok road over the Umling La pass, which has been built in Ladakh at an altitude of over 19,000 feet around 105 km from Hanle Village, which itself is located 275 km from Leh in the Ladakh

Here’s everything you need to know about the road:

  • The Chisumle-Demchok road holds the Guinness World Record for the highest motorable road in the world.
  • A 52-km road with a black peak connects several important cities in the Chumar sector of eastern Ladakh.
  • It is located at a very strategic point as the road-connected villages are very close to the India-China border in the eastern region. This road has been constructed under the Himank project.
  • According to the government, the height of this road is more than the base camp of Mount Everest. The South Base Camp in Nepal is located at an altitude of 17,598 feet, while the North Base Camp in Tibet is at an altitude of 16,900 feet.
  • This road is well above the height of Siachen Glacier which is 17,700 feet.

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