Indian Army vehicles drive on a road in Ladakh region near the border with China(AP)
Indian Army vehicles drive on a road in Ladakh region near the border with China(AP)

Stand-off with PLA pushes India to go for new snow-free axis to Ladakh

The project to build a third road to Ladakh is targeted to be completed in two years. It requires a 4.5 km tunnel to be built under Shingo La, a high mountain pass at 16,570 feet on the border between Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh
By Shishir Gupta | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 25, 2020 07:25 PM IST

India’s national security planners are pushing hard to complete an all-weather strategic route to Ladakh that will link Darcha in Himachal Pradesh to Nimu via Padum in Kargil’s Zanskar valley, people familiar with the matter said. Nimu is 35 kilometres from Leh town and headquarters of XIV Corps responsible for the defence of East Ladakh and Siachen Glacier.

This would be the first all-weather route to Ladakh that is already connected by two other routes; the first via Zoji La in Jammu and Kashmir and the second, via Himachal’s Manali-Upshi-Leh axis. The 9.02 kilometre Atal tunnel at Rohtang La, which will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km, is set to become operational next month.

Senior military commanders said the third route to feed Ladakh by road is urgently needed given how Pakistan and its all-weather friend, China were eyeing the Siachen Glacier and Daulat Beg Oldie.

The defence ministry’s road project is being given its hardest push by road and highways minister Nitin Gadkari and his colleague Gen VK Singh after China provoked a standoff along the Line of Actual Control in East Ladakh and started mobilising troops in depth areas. New Delhi perceives Beijing’s reluctance to disengage despite reminders as an effort to set a new normal at the border.

Officials said the third route requires upgrading the Darcha-Padum-Nimu trekking route into a metalled road and building a 4.5 kilometre tunnel under Shingo La on the Darcha-Padum route. The project, which has been in the pipeline for a decade, is scheduled to be completed by the defence ministry within two years.

In an effort to ensure that the project meets its two-year deadline, Gadkari’s ministry has proposed that the task to build the tunnel should be given to the company that constructed the 9.02 km tunnel at Rohtang La on the condition that it meets the timeline.

According to military commanders, the need to build the third axis was felt as tunnelling would be required under four more high mountain passes on the existing Manali-Leh route if the road has to be kept open throughout the year. The Atal tunnel at Rohtang La on this route has been built at a height of 10,171 feet and is already the world’s longest at this altitude.

The four passes that would require tunnels on the existing Manali-Leh route are at higher altitudes: Baralacha La (16,500 feet), Nakee La (15,547 feet), Lachung La (16,616 feet), and Tanglang La (17,480 feet). These passes are only open for traffic between mid-May to mid-November and covered with deep snow remaining part of the year.

However, the Darcha-Padum-Nimu route requires only a single 4.5 km tunnel through the 16,570 feet Shingo La between Darcha and Padum to ensure that the road is closed only for two months in winter. Darcha is 147 kilometres from Manali and lies on the highway to Leh after Jispa and Keylong across Rohtang La.

The distance between Darcha and Padum is about 148 kilometres with the Zanskar sub-divisional town connected to Kargil via a 230-km long single lane road. Work is already on to construct the Darcha-Padum road with another 260 km road work in progress between Padum and Nimu, the 14 Corps headquarters in Ladakh.

“We are looking to build a road that bisects the Leh-Kargil highway around Lamayuru monastery and connects Darcha via Padum. This road will allow Indian military and the local population to get round-the-year supplies… The route is not under the prying eyes of the Pakistan Army as in Kaksar in Kargil district or the DSDBO (Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie) route that is under observation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” said a former army chief.

Apart from keeping the supply lines open for the military guarding Siachen, Kargil and DBO sectors, the Darcha-Nimu route will also develop the new union territory of Ladakh to match the aspirations of its people.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The police have seized two big consignments of Nepalese cigarettes in less than a month in Champawat. (FILE PHOTO) (Image used for representation).
The police have seized two big consignments of Nepalese cigarettes in less than a month in Champawat. (FILE PHOTO) (Image used for representation).

Smuggled Nepalese cigarette brand dominates border areas of Uttarakhand

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 12:01 AM IST
  • ‘Khukuri’ a brand of Nepalese cigarette has captured the market in the border areas of US Nagar, Champawat and Pithoragarh. Over 90% of smokers prefer to purchase and smoke this not due to taste but its cheap prices, said an official.
Close
Screen grab of a video showing fight between fake buffaloes at a village in Sivasagar district of Assam on Friday.
Screen grab of a video showing fight between fake buffaloes at a village in Sivasagar district of Assam on Friday.

Assam village sets example, holds fake buffalo fight to uphold SC ban

By Utpal Parashar | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:58 PM IST
  • In 2016, the Supreme Court had placed a ban on animal fights during religious and cultural festivals.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

After protests, Goa CM announces relocation of IIT project from Melaulim

By Gerard de Souza
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:47 PM IST
PANAJI: Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Friday announced that the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Goa campus that was to be set up at Melaulim village would be shifted to another place in the state
Close
HT Image
HT Image

CBI ‘bribe-for-relief’ racket was running since 2018, finds probe

By Neeraj Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:47 PM IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found that a “bribe-for-relief” racket was being run in the agency since 2018 by leaking confidential case related information to some companies being investigated for bank fraud, people familiar with the development said
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Construction work on New Parliament begins

PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:45 PM IST
New Delhi: Construction work on the foundation of the New Parliament building officially began on Friday, officials aware of the development said adding that some of the work had already begun on an alternative site to make up for the delay in the construction
Close
Both day and night also turned pleasant on Friday as temperatures dropped significantly in the city providing relief from week-long heat conditions. The Colaba observatory of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. (ANI PHOTO).
Both day and night also turned pleasant on Friday as temperatures dropped significantly in the city providing relief from week-long heat conditions. The Colaba observatory of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. (ANI PHOTO).

Mumbai logs AQI of 190, breathes cleanest air so far this year

PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:44 PM IST
  • Air quality had remained in the poor to very poor category since the beginning of January owing to low temperatures. On January 8, the AQI was the worst at 317 (very poor) for this year.
Close
Satabdi Roy, the three-time Lok Sabha member from Birbhum, told the media that she would fly to Delhi on Saturday. This led to rumours that she would possibly meet Union home minister Amit Shah. (ANI PHOTO).
Satabdi Roy, the three-time Lok Sabha member from Birbhum, told the media that she would fly to Delhi on Saturday. This led to rumours that she would possibly meet Union home minister Amit Shah. (ANI PHOTO).

TMC MP Satabdi Roy voices dissent, Abhishek Banerjee steps in to solve crisis

PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:27 PM IST
  • For the first time, TMC’s youth unit president and chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee stepped in to solve the crisis. He sent party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh to bring Roy to his office on Camac Street in south Kolkata and held a two-hour meeting on Friday.
Close
As many as 97 vaccination centres have been set up for the launch on Saturday.(Reuters)
As many as 97 vaccination centres have been set up for the launch on Saturday.(Reuters)

Woman sanitation worker to get first vaccine jab in Chhattisgarh

PTI
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:23 PM IST
The vaccination drive will cover over 2.67 lakh healthcare personnel and frontline workers in its first phase, state's mission director for the National Health Mission Priyanka Shukla said.
Close
Tezpur: A worker arranges boxes containing Covishield vaccine doses for their dispatch across the Sonitpur district, in Tezpur, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. A countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive is set to rollout from January 16, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI01_15_2021_000220B)(PTI)
Tezpur: A worker arranges boxes containing Covishield vaccine doses for their dispatch across the Sonitpur district, in Tezpur, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. A countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive is set to rollout from January 16, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI01_15_2021_000220B)(PTI)

Is Covid-19 vaccine mandatory?: All your FAQs about vaccination drive answered

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:00 PM IST
Healthcare workers, both in government and private sectors including Integrated Child Development Services(ICDS) workers, will receive the vaccine during this phase, the health ministry said in a statement.
Close
Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to attend programmes in Bengal on January 30 and 31. The party also wants to plan a rally to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the coming weeks. (ANI FILE PHOTO).
Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to attend programmes in Bengal on January 30 and 31. The party also wants to plan a rally to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the coming weeks. (ANI FILE PHOTO).

Bengal BJP leaders meet Amit Shah in Delhi, discuss poll preparedness

UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 10:56 PM IST
  • To meet Shah’s target of winning more than 200 of Bengal’s 294 assembly seats in 2021, the BJP has put together its biggest election machinery in the eastern state.
Close
The standoff between India and China along the LAC in Ladakh has entered its seventh month.(Representative Photo)
The standoff between India and China along the LAC in Ladakh has entered its seventh month.(Representative Photo)

Ladakh soldiers among first set of army personnel to get Covid-19 vaccine

UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:29 PM IST
  • More than 12,000 doses of the vaccine have reached Ladakh of which around 4,000 have been earmarked for armed forces personnel to protect them from Covid-19, the officials said speaking on condition of anonymity.
Close
Odisha health workers who under the banner of Odisha State Male and Female Multipurpose Health Workers'/Health Supervisors’ United Association.(HT Photo)
Odisha health workers who under the banner of Odisha State Male and Female Multipurpose Health Workers'/Health Supervisors’ United Association.(HT Photo)

Thousands of Odisha's healthcare workers say no to Covid-19 vaccine, here's why

By Debabrata Mohanty, Bhubaneswar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:54 PM IST
  • MPW workers demand promotion and cadre-restructuring.
Close
Choudhury also blamed the Trinamool Congress for allowing the BJP to strengthen its base in the state.(Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
Choudhury also blamed the Trinamool Congress for allowing the BJP to strengthen its base in the state.(Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

Join Congress to defeat BJP: Adhir Ranjan repeats invite to Mamata Banerjee

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:49 PM IST
  • Choudhury's comments came after the TMC had on Wednesday said the Congress and the Left should support Banerjee in her fight against the BJP, a suggestion rejected by the two parties.
Close
Union minister for telecommunications Ravi Shankar Prasad.(ANI)
Union minister for telecommunications Ravi Shankar Prasad.(ANI)

News updates from HT: India-Japan to cooperate in field of 5G, smart cities

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:58 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
The CBI is verifying the nature of the racket as this could be much bigger considering a large number of bank fraud cases are under investigation.(HT Photo)
The CBI is verifying the nature of the racket as this could be much bigger considering a large number of bank fraud cases are under investigation.(HT Photo)

When 4 CBI officers turned 'bribe facilitators' for bank fraud accused

By Neeraj Chauhan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:51 PM IST
According to the FIR, reviewed by HT, the four CBI officers, along with two advocates, and certain other accused have been “compromising the integrity of investigation of certain cases on extraneous pecuniary considerations”.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP