At a height of over 19,300 feet, Umling La is now the world’s highest motorable road.
Border Roads Organisation (BRO), in a major achievement, has built the world’s highest motorable road in Ladakh, Jammu Kashmir. The road passes through Umling La at a height of over 19,300 feet. Khardung La, which held the crown of the world’s highest motorable pass, isn’t one anymore.
This feat has been achieved under the ‘Project Himank’ of the BRO. The 86 kms long road through Umling La connects Chisumle and Demchok villages, located approximately 230 kms from Leh. These villages also happen to be very close to the Asia-China border.
Constructing the road at an altitude of over 19,300 feet has indeed been a challenge for the BRO. Temperatures would touch minus 10 to 20 degrees Celsius in summers and minus 40 degrees Celsius in winters. To make matters worse, oxygen levels at that altitude would be 50 percent lesser making it difficult to breathe. Another challenge in getting the road constructed was carrying the equipment at such a height, maintaining and servicing them.
Project Himank Chief Engineer Brigadier D M Purvimath recollects that there were personnel who faced health issues like loss of memory, eyesight and high blood pressure. The workmen were trained for physical and mental fitness before being inducted into the work. Project Himank also had constructed Khardung La at an altitude of 17,900 feet and Chang La pass at 17,695 feet in Leh.
World’s Highest Motorable Road
– Umling La is now the world’s highest motorable road at a height of over 19,300 feet
– The Border Roads Organisation has constructed the road
– Umling La is at an altitude of over 1400 feet than the Khardung La