India is working on better road accessibility up to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, often snapped due to hostile terrain and bad weather.
India’s move to upgrade the road infrastructure in the “strategically crucial” link comes against the backdrop of construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through the Karakoram ranges in the region.
The Border Roads Organisation, which takes care of roads construction in strategic locations, had approached the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), asking it to suggest possible solution for a patch on the 55-odd km road, especially from Sasoma to Saser Brangsa that leads to LAC.
India is keeping a close watch on CPEC that will connect China and Pakistan through one of the toughest terrains in the world. It is preparing itself by upgrading the road infrastructure in the “strategically crucial” link.
“Of the 55 km, 10 km patch is affected due to hostile terrain and tough weather conditions.
“The road is supposed to be shortest, but toughest as it is also shut for more than six-seven months due to frequent landslides, harsh winters and snow blocking the path,” said a senior government official, adding that project is being monitored at the PMO level.
The road is also considered as an alternative route to the LAC.
The CRRI works under the aegis of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an arm of the Ministry of Science and Technology (S&T).
It specialises in road research and several state governments and local bodies approach the institution for rectifying the roads in their jurisdiction.
After the BRO had approached it, the CRRI undertook topographical survey of the area using radar and other technologies.
“We have advised both short and long-term measures for the road, but it is up to the BRO to take a call on it,” said Satish Chandra, Director CRRI.
He added one of the short-term recommendations made by the CRRI is to make snow sheds that can save the road.
Additionally, as a long term measure, it has also suggested some realignment, as the landslides damage the road every season.