Border Roads Organisation has constructed a motorable road at an altitude of 19,300 feet.
To put things in context, this is higher than the base camps of Mount Everest. The road is constructed much above the altitude of Siachen Glacier which is at 17,700 feet. The Khardung La Pass in Leh is at an altitude of 17,582 feet. With this, India has bettered Bolivia’s record of a road at 18,953 feet.
The road itself is a 52-km long tarmac stretch through Umlingla Pass, connecting important towns in Chumar sector of Eastern Ladakh.
“It will prove to be a boon to the local population as it offers an alternate direct route connecting Chisumle and Demchok from Leh. It will enhance the socio-economic condition and promote tourism in Ladakh,” said Ministry of Defence in a statement on Wednesday. Any construction at that altitute is a task that calls for extreme challenges due to the weather conditions , rapid changing climate and lack of sifficient oxygen. In winters, temperature dips 40 degrees below zero. The oxygen level at this altitude is almost 50 per cent less than at normal places.
“The BRO has achieved the feat due to the grit and resilience of its personnel who work in treacherous terrain and extreme weather conditions,” the ministry stated.