Srinagar : In a major feat, 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.
Being close to Hanle, the 86km long strategic road connects Chisumle and Demchok villages, located 230 Kms from Leh. These villages are stone’s throw away from the Indo-China border in eastern sector, a spokesman of BRO said, reports PTI.
Felicitating the BRO personnel for completing the herculean task, Chief Engineer, Project Himank, Brigadier D M Purvimath, said constructing the road at the altitude of over 19,300 feet was filled with life threatening challenges.
He said the climate at the location is always adverse for construction activities.
“During peak summers, temperature hovers around minus 10-20 degrees Celsius, and in winters, it dips to minus 40 degrees. Oxygen level at the altitude is 50 per cent less than at normal places,” Purvimath said.
“Efficiency of machines and manpower declines by 50 per cent due to harsh climate and less oxygen level. Also, machine operators have to come down every 10 minutes for oxygen,” he said. The brigadier said logistics was another major challenge at such an altitude.
“Taking equipment at such a height, repairing and maintaining it is a major task since equipment face a lot of breakdowns,” he said.
Purvimath said because of this gradation, the personnel faced serious health problems like loss of memory, eyesight and high blood pressure.