The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed the world’s highest motor-able road at Umling La Pass in Eastern Ladakh at the height of 19,300 feet, the defence ministry said on Wednesday, 4 August.
With this record, India has smashed Bolivia's record, which connected a road to its volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet. Previous to Bolivia’s record, the Khardung La pass in Ladakh at 17,600 feet was the highest motorable road in the world.
The new Umling La Pass, which is a 52 km long tarmac stretch, will connect towns in the Chumar sector of Eastern Ladakh and will provide a direct route connecting Chisumle and Demchok from Leh.
"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," the defence ministry said in a statement.
Infrastructure development in places like Umling La Pass is difficult due to the rough terrain and extreme weather. During winters, temperatures dip down to -40 degrees and oxygen levels are nearly 50 percent less than base towns.
“The BRO has achieved the feat due to the grit and resilience of its personnel who work in treacherous terrain and extreme weather conditions,” read a defence ministry statement.
To gain some context of the record achieved, the South Mt Everest Base Camp in Nepal is at an altitude of 17,598 ft, while North Base Camp in Tibet is at 16,900 ft.
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