The Border Roads Organisation has constructed the world’s highest road in eastern Ladakh at an altitude of 19,300 feet, the government said in a statement today. The road has been constructed at an altitude higher than the Mount Everest base camps – the south base camp in Nepal is at an altitude of 17,598 feet, while the north base camp in Tibet is at 16,900 feet.
To put this in another perspective, most large commercial aircraft fly at 30,000 feet and above, so this road is at an altitude that’s more than half of that.
“The road at Umlingla Pass constructed at an altitude of 19,300 ft betters previous record of a road in Bolivia at 18,953 ft. Umlingla Pass is now connected with a black top road to enhance socio-economic condition and promote tourism in Ladakh,” the government said.
Infrastructure development in such harsh and tough terrain is extremely challenging. In winter, the temperature falls to -40 degree Celsius and the oxygen level at this altitude is almost 50 per cent less than at normal places.
“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.
In making the record, the BRO constructed a 52-km-long tarmac road through Umlingla Pass, bettering the previous record of a road in Bolivia connecting to its volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet.
The road now connects the 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,” the government said.
Khardung La Pass in Ladakh is also one of the world’s highest roads at nearly 17,600 feet.