NEW DELHI: India is building the world’s highest tunnel, motorable road and fighter aircraft base in eastern Ladakh as part of the government’s push towards strengthening infrastructure for both military and civilian use. After constructing the highest road at Umlong La Pass, at a height of 19,024 two years back, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has now embarked on a groundbreaking project to construct a road at a height of 19,400 feet connecting Likru, MigLa and Phukche. This will help in the deployment of troops at the earliest if any critical situation arises.
The world’s highest bi-lane tunnel Sela is also ready and is expected to be dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister very soon. It will be the highest and longest bi-lane tunnel in the world.
The BRO will also be constructing the Shinku La tunnel connecting Manali through Zanskar to Leh which will be the highest and will break the record of the MiLa tunnel situated in China.
Nyoma airfield in eastern Ladakh, capable of operating fighter aircraft, is expected to be ready by the end of next year. When completed, it will be one of the highest airfields in the world. It is projected that in this financial year, India could spend Rs 15,000 crore on building border roads, bridges, and tunnels in remote and inhospitable terrain, all to shore up its defences. During Independence Day celebration at Red Fort, 50 members of the BRO were invited as special guests.
The BRO has constructed 3,700 km of roads as well as 266 bridges of a total length of 17,411 metres since April 2019. While India had built 4,422 km of border roads between 2008 and 2015 at 632 km per year, the pace has increased to 856 km per year with 6,848 km of roads built between 2015 and 2023.