Infrastructure development in such harsh and tough terrain in Ladakh is extremely challenging
Believe it not, the world's highest motorable road is now in India.
The Army's Border Roads Organization (BRO) has constructed the road at an altitude of 19,300 feet at Umlingla Pass in the cold desert region of Ladakh, the Indian government announced on Wednesday.
"The 52-km long tarmac road through Umlingla Pass beats the previous record of a road in South America's Bolivia connecting to its volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet," it said, adding that it will help promote tourism in the federal government-controlled territory of Ladakh.
The road has been constructed at an altitude higher than the Mt Everest Base Camps as 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, according to the government.
It is much above the altitude of the Siachen Glacier in the Himalayas. At 17,700 feet, the Siachen Glacier is touted as the highest battleground on Earth, where arch-rivals India and Pakistan have fought intermittently since 1984.
Infrastructure development in such harsh and tough terrain in Ladakh is extremely challenging. During winter, the temperature dips to -40 degrees and the oxygen level is almost 50%less than at normal places.
"The Border Roads Organization or BRO achieved the feat due to the grit and resilience of its personnel who work in treacherous terrain and extreme weather conditions," the Indian government said.