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BRO constructs highest motorable road at Umlingla Pass, Ladakh

The Border Roads Organisation of India has built the world’s highest road in eastern Ladakh, at a height of 19,300 feet, according to a government statement released today.The road was built at a greater elevation than the Mount Everest base camps, with the south base camp in Nepal being 17,598 feet and the north base camp in Tibet being 16,900 feet. 

According to the ministry’s statement, the BRO has built a 52-kilometer black-top road across Umlingla Pass, breaking the previous record for a road in Bolivia linking to the volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet. Umlingla Pass is now connected with a black top road to enhance socio-economic conditions and promote tourism in Ladakh.

The important towns in eastern Ladakh’s Chumar sector will all be connected by this road, which comes as a boon for the local population. The road provides the local residents with an alternative direct route to Demchok and Chisumle from Leh. It will also increase the region’s socio-economic condition as well as promote tourism in Ladakh.

To put that into perspective, most big commercial aeroplanes travel at an altitude of 30,000 feet or more, so this road is more than half that. Infrastructure development in such a severe and difficult environment is exceedingly difficult. The temperature drops to -40 degrees Celsius in the winter, and the oxygen level is about half that of regular areas at this altitude. 

The Border Roads Organisation or BRO, achieved the feat due to the grit and resilience of its personnel who work in treacherous terrain and extreme weather conditions,” the government said.

The road was built at a greater elevation than the Mount Everest Base Camps in Nepal, where the South Base Camp is at 17,598 feet and the North Base Camp is at 16,900 feet.The road was built at a considerably higher height than the Siachen Glacier, which stands at 17,700 feet.

The road stands higher than the base camps of Mt Everest. The South Base Camp in Nepal is located at 17,598 ft, while the North Base Camp located in neighbouring Tibet is at 16,900 ft. The altitude of the road also dwarfs that of the Siachen Glacier’s 17,700 ft, while Leh’s Khardung La Pass has an altitude of 17,582 ft.


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