India Builds World’s Highest Motorable road Umlingla Pass in Ladakh. It is just completed by BRO (Border Roads Organization) in Ladakh under the project called Himank. Umling La is situated in the altitude of 19,300 feet from Sea level. It takes more than 1 year to complete this road.
India Highest Passes Controversies
Previously it was known that Khardung La is the highest motorable road in the World, though there are many controversies regarding this as there are many other highest motorable roads in Uttarakhand, Ladakh and in other region of Himalaya. The heights are like Dungri La (18,406 ft), Khardung La (17,582ft) among others. But BRO just broked the record of their own, built this highest pass, Umling La after Khardung La which was in the altitude of 18379 feet above sea level.
Geographic Location of Umling La Pass
Umling La road is 86 km long and it is connecting two small rural village called Chisumle and Demchok. It is around 230 km from Leh city.
This villages and the pass is just stone’s throw away from the Indo-China border in the eastern sector. We are not sure of the exact location of the pass; but it would seem that it is somewhere close to Hanle and Koyul, further ahead of Photi La Pass.
Chief Engineer of Project Himank, Brigadier DM Purvimath said
“Constructing the road at an altitude of over 19,300 feet was a daunting task with life threatening challenges.”
Climate Situation of Umling La Pass
The construction work of Umling La pass was not so easy as for the location. It was tough, really tough for those people who were working there all over the year. During peak summers, the temperatures is around minus -10 to minus -20 degrees celsius and in winters it is minus -40 degrees Celsius. Oxygen levels is very very less than other places. It is 50% less than other places.
The workers always took breaks in every 10 minutes and come down for Oxygen. It was said by Brigadier DM Purvimath that nobody can survive at that spot for more than an hour without proper training and acclimatizing with the place.
The Planning and Execution
The Commander 753 BRTF, Pardeep Raj, who looks after the road construction of this sector, said
“Acclimatization of men is done at three stages – at Leh, Shakti and Numa – before being inducted into the sector. Physical and mental fitness of men are also emphasized upon for working in the area as the working season is limited in the region.”
Pradip also said that the planning of this work in the area was done long before its execution to achieve the desired results. Captain Bharat Mani Choudhury, the doctor who takes care of health of the jawans in the entire sector said –
It is compulsory for GREFF personnel and laborers to acclimatise at three different stages for a period of 16 days before taking over the job
He also said that –
“Blood pressure and oxygen level of each jawan are frequently monitored. The facility of oxygen was kept at different places for emergency. The personnel are instructed to avoid drinking stream water, consume less spicy foods and take 10 liters of water daily”
A Big Thank You
Thank you BRO for putting India on the World map again with this beautiful new mountain pass. It is remarkable achievement to work and completed this road in an atmosphere where even machine give up and people die under the harsh and punishing condition.
Wanna ride through Umling La pass?
Yes now this will be another dream for the bikers and the road trippers from around the World, who want to cross this newly built World’s highest motorable road Umling La pass. Though we don’t know exactly whether the road is open now or not, we need to wait for the official announcement from Border Roads Organization India. Till then just dreaming.
Watch The Video of Umlingla Pass
More details about the project
Project Umlingla Pass:
Budget Sanction of RAEs/AEs for Umlingla Pass
- One AE amounting to Rs 98.05 Crs for Construction/impv of road D-S- DBO between Km 210.00 to Km 255.00 got sanctioned on 04 Aug 2016.
- One AE amounting to Rs 40.89 Crs for launching of 12 Nos BBs on D-S- DBO road got sanctioned on 29 Aug 2016.
- One RDPR amounting to Rs 385.37 Crs for Construction/impv of road K- P-C-Z sanctioned on 24 Aug 2016.
- One RDPR amounting to Rs 261.17 Crs for Construction/impv of road P- M recommended for sanction in HLEC held on 15 Nov 2016.