Insight into North-East Border Areas & Infrastructure - Youtube, Satellite & Media

Tanmay

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This thread is an attempt to understand the past and current conditions in Border Areas located in North East.
It will try to corelate satellite images with youtube blogs of travellers and get more insight into the road and other civil infra along with general life.

Moreover the actual status and condition of work done by BRO and local administration reported on media can be crosscchecked with the growing number of youtube vlogs by travellers.

Short list of things I will track:
1) Geography - Google Earth
2) 1962 war events at these towns/villages and other incidents and current scenario.
3) Roads
3) Telecommunication, electricity, banking
4) Tourism

And other insightful stuff
 

Tanmay

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My initial interest was Longju, Arunachal Pradesh since this was the first armed clash between India and China.

Longju—Located in the Upper Subansiri Division, it is opposite the Chinese military posts in Migyitun, Tibet. First armed clash (Aug 25, 1959) between PLA and 9 Assam Rifles took place here. Since then India did not reoccupy Longju and instead set up a post at Maja, 10 km south of Longju

Read more at:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.co...ofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst


I wasn't able to properly locate Longju or Maja, and the wild goose chase introduced me to other towns of Limeking, Taksing(Takexin), Tame Chung Chung etc

A general view of Arunachal first



01.PNG



Limeking: 28°22'8.45"N 93°36'40.36"E

Tame Chung Chung: 28°21'46.28"N 93°28'38.09"E

Taksing: 28°26'7.01"N 93°12'27.75"E

We explore life in Limeking through below video of a traveller. Army deployment is clear.

 

Tanmay

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/indi...ites-locals/story-0ZxOVxp21XimKtRiCsJIGK.html

Road through yeti territory excites locals

Locals here have for ages lived in awe of a ‘monster’ called China. They are now wary of being haunted by another — the mythical Himalayan yeti.

Nov 29, 2010 00:30 IST


The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is developing a road through Bhutan to have faster access to the western district of Tawang, around 550 km northeast of Assam capital Guwahati.

In close proximity to this road is Bhutan’s Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary — a 650 sq km reserve created specifically to protect the habitat of the yeti or abominable snowman, known in Bhutan as the migoi, or strong man.

This road via Udalguri in Assam connects the Bhutanese district of Trashigang before terminating at Tawang.

“We are only working on a shortcut to Tawang that reduces travel from Guwahati by 93 km,” said a senior officer of the 14 Border Roads Task Force based in Tenga, 205 km south of Tawang. “This road is expected to be completed in three years,” Tawang deputy commissioner Gamli Padu said.
 

Tanmay

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/indi...ites-locals/story-0ZxOVxp21XimKtRiCsJIGK.html

Road through yeti territory excites locals

Locals here have for ages lived in awe of a ‘monster’ called China. They are now wary of being haunted by another — the mythical Himalayan yeti.

Nov 29, 2010 00:30 IST


The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is developing a road through Bhutan to have faster access to the western district of Tawang, around 550 km northeast of Assam capital Guwahati.

In close proximity to this road is Bhutan’s Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary — a 650 sq km reserve created specifically to protect the habitat of the yeti or abominable snowman, known in Bhutan as the migoi, or strong man.

This road via Udalguri in Assam connects the Bhutanese district of Trashigang before terminating at Tawang.

“We are only working on a shortcut to Tawang that reduces travel from Guwahati by 93 km,” said a senior officer of the 14 Border Roads Task Force based in Tenga, 205 km south of Tawang. “This road is expected to be completed in three years,” Tawang deputy commissioner Gamli Padu said.

For the sake of continuation and easy access, I am reposting the post so that it does not get lost in the original fast flowing thread

https://defenceforumindia.com/threa...y-and-strategic-discussion.82293/post-1717716

I traced those roads back and their history and finally some connection can be made for Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary made by China. I dont think this connection has been explored by any media.

Nitin Gokhale talks about 2 roads to Tawang

1) BCT road aka Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road
2) OKSRT Road aka Orang-Kalaktang-Shergaon-Rupa-Tenga road (new road)

Hathunga La ridge is the last indian position after the defeat at Namka Chu- Thagla Ridge

GREEN ROAD is BCT Road
ORANGE ROAD is OKSRT road


01.PNG



So after Tawang fell, we fell back to Sela Pass (a good defendable position)

To get to Bomdilla, the Chinese had to cross the usual Sela Pass or go through more difficult Poshing La Pass



02.PNG




Bomdila was to be defended along with Mandala Pass


03.PNG





We are still improving the connectivity there to Mandala Pass

Following a detailed presentation made by DC A K Singh on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) Road, Orang-Kalaktang-Shergaon-Rupa-Tenga (OKSRT), Trans Arunachal Highway (TAH), Munna-Chander-Thungri, Dirang-Mandala-Debrabu-Naga GG and Shergaon-Morshing-Mandalaphudung roads in the district, Rijiju observed the pre-requisite condition for development of any area depends on its road connectivity.


Read more at:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.co...ofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Look at the Pink Roads

01.PNG



So where does Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary come in this? I believe India is still strengthening its position in Tawnang and Mandala via Bhutan

A new road was contructed from Mandala to Bhutan border (BROWN ROAD). But it stops at the boundary with no road on Bhutanese side.

From Trashigang (Bhutan) another new (RED ROAD) road is being contructed to Sakteng. Its currently ends at a school
https://goo.gl/maps/cvysXbnhMzJdJJtq7



02.PNG



2014 : No road


04.PNG


2018 : Hills have been cut and a road visible

05.PNG



I believe this road from Trashigang(Bhutan) will finally meet Mandala Pass(India) and Tawang. The road passed through Sakteng Sanctuary.

China is probably threatening Bhutan to stop this road by making it disputed region. (Probably contructed by BRO under Project DANTAK)

Also Trashigang is well connected to Bhutan and India. So probably Bhutan and India have understood that Chinese may want to annex Bhutan or use Bhutan to bypass Indian defences in Tawang. Hence common defences spanning from Mandala Ridge extending to deep into Bhutan.


en.wikipedia.org

Yongphulla Airport - Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org
The Yonphula Airport was also contructed by Indian army. It will act as an alternative to the lone Paro airport.

Our chopper crashed there last year
https://scroll.in/latest/938723/two...-helicopter-crashes-in-eastern-bhutan-reports.

This seems to be the intention of China about Sakteng. Multiple roads to Tawang and Mandala and improving Indian response time and defences.
 

Chinmoy

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/indi...ites-locals/story-0ZxOVxp21XimKtRiCsJIGK.html

Road through yeti territory excites locals

Locals here have for ages lived in awe of a ‘monster’ called China. They are now wary of being haunted by another — the mythical Himalayan yeti.

Nov 29, 2010 00:30 IST


The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is developing a road through Bhutan to have faster access to the western district of Tawang, around 550 km northeast of Assam capital Guwahati.

In close proximity to this road is Bhutan’s Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary — a 650 sq km reserve created specifically to protect the habitat of the yeti or abominable snowman, known in Bhutan as the migoi, or strong man.

This road via Udalguri in Assam connects the Bhutanese district of Trashigang before terminating at Tawang.

“We are only working on a shortcut to Tawang that reduces travel from Guwahati by 93 km,” said a senior officer of the 14 Border Roads Task Force based in Tenga, 205 km south of Tawang. “This road is expected to be completed in three years,” Tawang deputy commissioner Gamli Padu said.
Interesting fact. This road was proposed back in 2001/ 2. Even the survey work was completed with report being submitted to GoI. The road cutting had just started when the project was stopped citing a silly excuse. Anyone visiting the area could see the remnants of the road. This 2010 report is a hogwash. Only recently in 2010, the project has again been sanctioned.
 

Tanmay

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Interesting fact. This road was proposed back in 2001/ 2. Even the survey work was completed with report being submitted to GoI. The road cutting had just started when the project was stopped citing a silly excuse. Anyone visiting the area could see the remnants of the road. This 2010 report is a hogwash. Only recently in 2010, the project has again been sanctioned.

I think there is some pressure on Bhutan. They even pulled out of BBIN road project(Bhutan - Bangladesh - India - Nepal) citing weird environmental issue cause
 

Chinmoy

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I think there is some pressure on Bhutan. They even pulled out of BBIN road project(Bhutan - Bangladesh - India - Nepal) citing weird environmental issue cause
They have not pulled out, but instead asked the other three countries to proceed with the project in the meanwhile they have pushed the project for ratification in their upper house.
Their concern is not environmental, but economical. Infact this concern is shared by both Bangladesh and Nepal too.
 

Tanmay

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Meghalaya has 2 airport

1) Umroi Airport -- 30km from Shillong
2) Baljek Airport -- Unused and sort of abandoned airport - But can be used to land C130 or C17 (I guess)

I have marked both airports in blue circle.
The map also shows the large number of options available to IAF to operate from

Blue = IAF airbases
Red = Civilian airports
Green = Advance Landing Grounds - ALGs

Capture.JPG



Anyways I am covering Shillong Umroi Airport

It has 6000 feet / 1.8 km runway and supports only an ATR-42 aircraft

The plan to extend it to 8000 feet / 2.4 km runway got into issues.

There were hills as obstacles and it would have needed Rs. 7000 crore ($1 Billion) approx for the getting the work done

http://www.uniindia.com/more-than-r...i-airport-sniawbhalang/east/news/1651811.html

Posted at: Jul 3 2019 12:59AM

More than Rs 7000 cr required to upgrade Umroi Airport: Sniawbhalang Shillong, July 2 (UNI) Meghalaya Transport Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar on Tuesday said that the government would require more than Rs 7000 crore to upgrade Umroi Airport in the state

“Some shortcomings of the airport are due to inability of big aircraft to land and take off, because the runway cannot be extended as of now due to certain obstacles,” he said.

The airport requires extension of its 6,000-feet runway which supports only an ATR-42 aircraft now.

The runway will be extended to about 8,000 feet to facilitate operation of bigger planes.

The Airports Authority of India, in its affidavit, in 2017 pointed out that for making Umroi Airport fully functional, it requires huge amount for removing obstacles in three clusters-I, II and III.

Meanwhile, during the hearing bench of chief justice, Ajay Kumar Mittal and justice, H S Thangkhiew of the Meghalaya High Court on Tuesday, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) submitted before the court that for cutting of cluster-I, it would entail an expenditure of Rs 8000 crore. The counsel for DGCA also submitted that without cutting of cluster-I, it will not be possible to grant permission for landing of regular turbojet i.e., Boeing aircraft at Umroi airport. Amicus Curiae, P Yobin pointed out that similar situation exists at the airports of Mizoram, Sikkim and Leh where DGCA had already accorded approval and Boeing Aircrafts are landing.
2017
01.JPG



2020 : Imagery shows that some work is being done at airport.
The hills in front also seem to be in process of being demolished. (red circle)
Probably expansion has received go ahead

02.JPG
 

Tanmay

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Dambuk - Roing road in Arunachal (part of NH-13 )

National Highway 13 (NH 13), part of the larger Trans-Arunachal Highway network, is a 1,559 km long two-lane national highway across Arunachal Pradesh in India running from Tawang in northwest to Wakro in southeast
Entire route became operational in 2018 when 6.2 km long Dibang River Bridge was completed across Dibang River.
Sela Tunnel, a shorter alternative route with target completion by Jan/Feb 2022, will provide all-weather connectivity


Dibang Bridge aka Bomjir Bridge : 6.5 km long
01.JPG



2014 : No bridge.
02.JPG



2018: 6.5 km bridge :)
03.JPG


04.JPG
 

Tanmay

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Gelling is a village in Arunachal Pradesh.
Its the point where Brahmaputra (locally called Siang river) enters India from Tibet.

The road (shown in yellow) runs along the river. As such the river is visible below.

Tuting has an ALG and army presence and is a small town.

01.JPG




 

Tanmay

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We again cover Arunachal Pradesh, this time a place called LADA

http://www.easternsentinel.in/news/...-years-ladas-forced-remoteness-continues.html

WITHOUT ROAD FOR 40 YEARS, LADA’S ‘FORCED REMOTENESS’ CONTINUES


Lada is in East Kameng district, Arunachal PRadesh
At a distance of 170 km (via Thrizino town) away from district headquarters Seppa, with more than 4000 people as population spread over 25 villages, it has been 40 years since establishment that Lada (Hq) has not got a road.
“With absence of a road, 50 kg rice almost costs us Rs 3000/4000 as we have to hire people for carrying the load
“We have to scale the hill for at least two hours to reach our village ‘Lada’ from 'Drakshi', the last village having road connectivity,” informed GB Kaman Kadoju.

read more below
LADA, Feb 23: Established way back in 1980 as a CO, Lada in East Kameng district is one of the remotest Circles in the state and its isolation is truly reflected through the absence of minimum basic requirements of a human settlement such as road, telephone and proper power grid connectivities.
Situated at an altitude of more than 7000 mtrs (approx) and at a distance of 170 km (via Thrizino) away from district headquarters Seppa, with more than 4000 people as population spread over 25 villages, it has been 40 years since establishment that Lada (Hq) has not got a road.
“We have to scale the hill for at least two hours to reach our village ‘Lada’ from 'Drakshi', the last village having road connectivity,” informed GB Kaman Kadoju.
What troubles us most is the helplessness when there is some medical emergency. We have lost many relatives just due to failure in reaching the nearest hospital within time, he lamented.
“With absence of a road, 50 kg rice almost costs us Rs 3000/4000 as we have to hire people for carrying the load,” stated Laming Sangjoju, a villager, adding that almost all essential items become double of their actual price.
Narrating the hardships faced during his school days, a youth from Lada, Akash Rijiju added “we are very much thankful that a road has now reached at least up to Drakshi village, when earlier we had to walk and cover the distance which took a whole day to reach the nearest village like Palizi in West Kameng, which is amore than100 km from Lada. I hope that the road will be connected to our village soon,” he stated.
“Development of the road in Lada is the main agenda in every election and many candidates had promised to construct it, but till date, there is no such sign,” said a former Panchayat leader Solung Miji.
He also disclosed that due to absence of road connectivity, government staff are also not willing to stay in Lada.
While sharing the hardships faced by the people of Lada, Chairman, Nado Welfare Society (NWS) Kalley Rijiju informed that the road from Bameng to Lada would have been completed earlier but due to some controversies, it is still pending. “However, as the road from Kojo to Nabolong is in progress, we are pretty sure that it will be connected to Lada by next year,” added the Chairman. He also expressed hope that if the formation cutting works progress rapidly and weather turns out to be favourable, second stage will be completed within next year, also reiterating that NWS is giving top priority for road connectivity and pressing the concerned authority in this regard.

“I am also very much disheartened about the hardships being faced by the villagers due to lack of road communication in Lada since its establishment,” said local MLA Goruk Pordung. Although 40 years have passed without road connectivity, I assure you that within the next one & a half year, the much sought after road will reach the village, he added. He further informed that all concerned departments had been already instructed to ensure quality of the work.
Looking at these harsh truths of extreme underdevelopment in Lada, it will seem the much hyped ideas of Digital India and ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikash’ & ‘Antyodaya’ which literally mean “rise of the last person” have failed to make footfall here, at least as of now.
A map to view the location wrt border and capital cities
01.JPG



The Orange road between Thrizino (a small town) and Kojo (possibly s small hamlet). Lada as seen is still not connected. The road may NOT be tarred/ black topped I deel. Orange Road construction began in 2012/2013. Lada is still not connected.
02.JPG


The orange road was not even present till 2012. Construction began in 2013 it seems. See the below 2011 pic. No sign of any road
03.JPG



2016: Road visible
04.JPG



2011: No road near Kojo
05.JPG


2016 : Road cutting visible at Kojo. Lada is further north.
07.JPG



So we have road cut till Kojo (2016 was last Google earth imagery)

As per that 2020 report posted above, Drakshi village seems to have road connectivity
08.JPG




2019: Tender to contruct road from Kojo to Nabolang
10.JPG
 

Tanmay

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Continued from above post


This video is from Seppa (District HQ of East Kameng) to Thrizino. That itself is a torture.



This is 2020 video. Lada is still not connected. And as I guessed, the Orange road is a mud road.
The reporter travels and shows the connectivity at many villages on that road

 

Tanmay

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Yellow Line = Proper Road network (National Highway etc)

Orange line = Mud Roads

If these mud roads/ pony trails are made into blacktopped road, we could have lateral connectivity.

Example : A person/ troops wanting to travel from Dirang Dzong to Kojo need not take a detour to NH 229 thus avoiding crowding on highways and reducing travel time to lateral sectors.

P.S. Chindit Top is the Division HQ of 5th Mountain Division (BALL OF FIRE division)

01.JPG
 

Tanmay

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I think I should add J&K, Laddakh and Himachal, Uttarakhand to trackcprogress of infrastructure and life there.
 

Tanmay

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01.JPG


There are three ways to reach Kargil now. The first two are highways

1) Jammu - Srinagar - Kargil [Zoji La pass]
2) Manali - Leh - Kargil [Rohtang Pass - Baralacha Pass - Lunglacha Pass - Taglang Pass]
3 ) Manali - Darcha - Padum - Kargil [Shinku La - Penci La]

Zoji La Pass is getting a tunnel (Zoji La Tunnel + Z-Morh Tunnel) by 2026.

Rohtang Pass is getting an all weather tunnel (Atal Tunnel) but Leh- Manali highway WILL NOT be an all weather road as Baralacha Pass and other Passes will still be snow covered.


I will cover the third road here Manali - Darcha - Padum - Kargil road

Padum is a town of Zanskar valley tehsil. It had connectivity to Kargil via Penci La Pass. But for the Buddhist population connectivity to Himachal Pradesh was much desired. Going to Himachal Pradesh meant a detour of almost 600 km!! (Padum - Kargil - Leh - Manali)


So a new road is being built via Shinku La Pass (also called Shingo La Pass) to Darcha ( in Himachal Pradesh)

The Darcha-Shinkula-Zanskar route receives less snowfall and can be an easier all-weather approach to Ladakh in winter, say BRO engineers. The BRO has already started work from the Darcha side as this project was conceived much earlier, along with the 8.82-km-long Rohtang tunnel that will connect Lahaul with the Kullu valley permanently, they say. (Link)

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/archive/himachal/3rd-access-to-kargil-via-manali-671859

DARCHA:Almost two decades after Kargil came into limelight following a limited conflict with Pakistan over intruders transgressing the Line of Control, the strategically important town in Jammu and Kashmir has got a third axis of approach via Manali.

Darcha, October 21

Almost two decades after Kargil came into limelight following a limited conflict with Pakistan over intruders transgressing the Line of Control, the strategically important town in Jammu and Kashmir has got a third axis of approach via Manali.

A trekking foot trail that connected Darcha in Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh to Padum in Zanskar valley of Jammu and Kashmir across the 16,600 feet Shinku La pass has been widened and converted into a motorable road by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

Darcha lies 32 kms ahead of Keylong on the Manali-Leh highway. The distance from Darcha to Padum is 148 kms. Padum is already connected to Kargil with a single-lane black top road maintained by the state government and it takes about six to eight hours to cover the 230-km distance.

“Connectivity between Padum and Darcha was achieved in September when dozers from both sides met at Lakpan village, about 12 kms ahead of the Shinku La, marking a significant milestone,” Col AK Awasthi, Commander, 38 Border Roads Task Force, who is overseeing the works, said.

“Formation cutting on both sides has been done and further road widening is being undertaken at places, allowing BRO vehicles to drive across the pass,” he added. This would also have socio-economic spin-offs for the locals.

Till 1999, the primary approach to Kargil was from Jammu via Srinagar through the Zojila Pass, with a route from Manali via Leh across several high passes being the second alternative. Though this route has since been strengthened and its use has increased, it remains closed for six months a year due to snow.

Work on black-topping the Darcha-Padum link will begin next summer. A proposal to construct a tunnel under the Shinku La pass is under consideration to provide all-weather connectivity. “The pass remains closed in winters and we get only a limited working period in summers,” Lt Col DS Bisht, Officer Commanding 70 Road Construction

Company that is constructing part of the road that lies in Himachal, said.

“Reduced machine and material efficiency due to low temperatures and rarified air, cutting through rock faces as high as 15 metres and no telecommunication in this part were among the challenges that we faced,” he added.

Another 260-km-long road is being built from Padum to Nimu, near Leh, providing an alternative approach to Ladakh. According to BRO officials, a stretch of about 110 kms has been constructed so far that can accommodate jeeps. The Himachal part of the works is being executed by Project Deepak, while the Jammu and Kashmir part is the responsibility of Project Vijayak.

Following the 1999 Kargil conflict which exposed serious gaps in border infrastructure and communication, plans were conceived to build new roads as well as strengthen the existing road network in remote areas that would enable rapid troop deployment. This would also benefit the civilian populace by bringing them closer to the mainstream.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/a...s-planned-under-baralacha-shinkula-pass-18126

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 14

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has mulled a tunnel under the 15,000-ft-high snowbound Baralacha Pass and another tunnel under the Shinkula Pass in Lahaul-Spiti to establish a double-way all-weather access to the freezing war zone in the Ladakh sector.

The BRO (Deepak Project) has already done the feasibility study. Even the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun, and the Geological Survey of India (GSI) had conducted surveys for the feasibility study last year, said sources in the BRO.

“We have proposed an all-weather double-way access to the Ladakh sector from the Lahaul-Spiti side on 473-km-long Manali-Leh National Highway-22,” said BRO (Deepak Project) Chief Engineer Brig SK Kataria (retd). “We have proposed two major tunnels – one under the Baralacha Pass and another under the Shinkula Pass,” he added.

The highway will bifurcate at Darcha in the Bagha valley, 25 km from Keylong, to the Shinkula Pass that will lead to the Zanskar valley in the Ladakh sector. “The second access will be through the Darcha-Patseo-Zing Zing Bar-Baralacha Pass-Serchu to Leh,” Kataria added. “The GSI and WIHG have done their feasibility studies, but have yet to submit the report to the BRO,” Kataria said. “We will weigh the pros and cons of the feasibility studies before taking a final call on the proposed projects,” he said.

The Darcha-Shinkula-Zanskar route receives less snowfall and can be an easier all-weather approach to Ladakh in winter, say BRO engineers. The BRO has already started work from the Darcha side as this project was conceived much earlier, along with the 8.82-km-long Rohtang tunnel that will connect Lahaul with the Kullu valley permanently, they say.

“We have proposed to construct the two strategic tunnels under the Baralacha Pass, which remains closed for six months in winter and the Shinkula Pass, which also remains snowbound, for all-weather connectivity to Ladakh,” Kataria said.

The BRO has planned this double-way access to facilitate increased movement of troops to the Ladakh-Kargil war zone meeting the crucial defence requirements of the country, say BRO engineers.

When the Pakistani intruders attacked the forward posts on the Srinagar-Zozila Pass-Kargil highway from higher ranges in the 1999 Kargil war, the Manali-Leh came in handy as a crucial and more secure alternate land route to the war zone feeding essential military supplies to troops, said BRO officials.

Similarly, the BRO has constructed three major links from Powari-Pooh-Kaurik National Highway-21 to the Indo-China border. These are: the 5-km-long Chupam-Shipkila; 20-km-long Kaurik- Pong; and the 7-km-long Kaurik-Lepacha road. The tarring work on these roads has been completed, says Kataria.
 

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