The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed the world's highest motorable road in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, passing through Umlingla Top at a height of over 19,300 feet.
The feat was achieved under 'Project Himank' of the organisation. Congratulating the BRO personnel for completing the herculean task, Chief Engineer, Project Himank, Brigadier D M Purvimath, said that constructing the road at an altitude of over 19,300 feet was filled with life threatening challenges.
Some Major Challenges faced by BRO
• Climate: The location’s climate is adverse for construction activities. While the temperature is around minus 10-20 degrees Celsius during peak summer, it dips to minus 40 degrees in winters.
• Oxygen level: The level of oxygen at the altitude where the road was being built is about 50 per cent less than normal places.
• The harsh climate and less oxygen lessen the efficiency of manpower and machines.
According to Brigadier D M Purvimath, “the machine operators had to come down every 10 minutes for oxygen.” He added that logistics was another major challenge at such an altitude.
"Taking equipment at such a height, repairing and maintaining it was a major task since equipment face a lot of breakdowns," he explained.
He further stated that due to the gradation, many of the personnel faced serious health problems such as loss of memory, eyesight and high blood pressure.
The 86km long strategic road will connect Chisumle and Demchok villages, located 230 Kms from Leh. The villages lie very close to the Indo-China border in eastern sector.
Other high-altitude roads built under Project Himank include Khardangu La at an altitude of 17,900 ft and Changla Pass at 17,695 ft in Leh.
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