Ladakh region of Kashmir is all set to get all-weather road connectivity from Manali in Himachal Pradesh.
The cold desert will be accessible by a double-lanned motorable road from Manali in Himachal Pradesh through Zanskar area of Kargil, which cuts through the Himalayan mountains.Project Vijayak of Border Roads Organization has constructed the road network while cutting through tough mountains into a motorable road which will enhance inter-state connectivity with Himachal Pradesh.
This will be the third axis to Ladakh region after Srinagar-Leh and Manali via Leh routes.
Giving details of the project, BRO officials said that the initial trekking path connected Jammu and Kashmir at Padum in Kargil’s Zanskar to Darcha in Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh through Shinkula pass.
Lahaul valley has been widened and converted into a motorable road by the relentless efforts of the BRO men by using modern machinery, they said.Nimmu-Padam-Darcha axis is a strategically important road being developed by 126RCC and 81 RCC of 762 BRTF of Project Vijayak to extend this connectivity to Leh .
Darcha lies 32 kms ahead of Keylong on the Manali-Leh highway. The distance from Darcha to Padum is 148 kms.
Officials said connectivity between Padum and Darcha was achieved in October this year due to relentless efforts of BRO personnel when machinery and men from both sides met at Lakpan village, about 12 kms ahead of the Shinku La, achieving a significant milestone.
They said in the first phase of work, connectivity was planned between Padam to Shinkula- a total distance of 104 km.
Col Rajeev Lohani, Commander 762 BRTF pointed out that despite limited working season and difficult terrain, formation cutting was completed by October this year.
The only task remaining was a 160 ft Bailey Bridge near Purnia village at the junction of Phutkal and Tshrap river. Col Rajeev Lohani added that the construction of bridge was a major challenge in view of early snowfall and temperatures dipping down to -15°C.
He said that 126 RCC successfully launched 160ft Bailey Bridge which now connects the villages of Char, Purnia, Kuru, Kurgiak with the mainland population in this sector.
“This connectivity will go a long way to assist in socio-economic development of Zanskar and Kargil regions and BRO will always live up to its task and motto of connecting the remotest areas to the mainland,” said Chief Engineer Vijayak, Brig Amit Sohal.He said that the Darcha-Padum link will be further improved to wider formation width in next summer when work will be resumed.
While referring to the construction of the tunnel, Chief Engineer said a proposal to construct it under the Shinku La pass is under consideration to provide all-weather connectivity to the area.