Boost to all-weather connectivity to Leh, Darcha-Nimmu road opens : The Tribune India

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Boost to all-weather connectivity to Leh, Darcha-Nimmu road opens

Links Manali to Leh; black topping of road yet to be carried out

Boost to all-weather connectivity  to Leh, Darcha-Nimmu road opens

BRO workers engaged in construction of Padum-Nimmu road in Ladakh.



Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, March 28

The BRO connected the strategically important Darcha-Padum-Nimmu road in Ladakh on March 25, the work for which was started in 2004. This road between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh was conceived in 2002. Originally estimated at Rs 251 crore, the project was slated to be completed by 2012. However, the delay due to tough terrain has led to a nearly tenfold increase in costs.

This 298-km road connects Manali to Leh through Darcha and Nimmu on the Kargil–Leh Highway. This road is the third axis to connect Ladakh, which is shorter than the other earlier two road — Manali-Sarchu-Leh and Srinagar-Leh routes. The new road links Nimmu to Padum in Zanskar valley, and further extends to Darcha village in Lahaul and Spiti. The formation cutting of the Darcha-Padum section was completed in October 2020.

Strategic 298-km stretch

  • Its strategic importance lies in its ability to provide all-weather connectivity to Ladakh, with only one pass en route, underneath which a 4.1-km-long tunnel is proposed
  • The construction of the tunnel underneath Shinku La will ensure that the road remains operational throughout the year, mitigating the impact of adverse weather conditions and seasonal closures
  • Tendering process of the tunnel has been completed and its construction work is likely to start in June

The distance between Manali and Leh through Sarchu is about 427 km.

There are four high passes on the Darcha-Sarchu-Leh route — Baralacha (16,040 feet), Lachung La (16,800 feet), Tanglang La (17,480 feet) and Nakee La (15,547 feet) while there is only one Shinku La pass (16,558 feet) on this new axis.

Its strategic importance lies in its ability to provide all-weather connectivity to Ladakh, with only one pass en route, underneath which a 4.1-km-long tunnel is proposed. The construction of the tunnel underneath Shinku La will ensure that the road remains operational throughout the year, mitigating the impact of adverse weather conditions and seasonal closures. The completion of this road will enhance defence preparedness ensuring smoother logistics and troop movement and facilitate economic development in the Zanskar valley, contributing to the region’s overall growth. The masses of Zanskar valley have a close association of culture with Lahaul valley and this road will be very beneficial for them.

Project Yojak Director Col Vikas Gulia said that initial connectivity had been achieved by cutting through the tough rocky terrain. He said that work continued in double shifts in the winters as well to achieve the breakthrough. He said that now the work of black topping and improving the standard of the road would be carried out. He said that the tender process of Shinku La tunnel has been completed and its construction work is likely to start in June.

Phunchok Tashi, Executive Councillor, Zanskar Development Authority, said that the distance between Padum and Leh was 446 km through Kargil and it took over 9 hours for the journey. He added that now this new 175-km road will reduce the travel time to approximately 5 hours. He further added that the road through Kargil remained closed during winters but this new road will be a lifeline and provide round the year connectivity with Leh, having nearest medical facilities. He said that this road was less risky and will improve the tourism potential of the region.

#Kullu #Ladakh #Leh #Manali


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