On Tuesday, November 16, India’s Director General Border Roads (DGBR), Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry received the Guinness World Records certificate for the achievement of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) of constructing and blacktopping the world’s highest motorable road at 19,024 feet at Umlingla Pass in Ladakh.
BRO has constructed the highest altitude road in the world and has been constantly engaged in bettering connections through new roads.
Highest altitude road
DGBR was awarded the Guinness World Record via a virtual ceremony, in which an official adjudicator based in the United Kingdom, Rishi Nath acknowledged the remarkable BRO’s achievement. It took a four-month-long process by the Guinness World Records, and five different surveyors verified the claim before awarding the record to BRO.
What is the record for?
BRO received the Guinness World Records certificate for the 52-kilometre long Chisumle to Demchok tarmac road. It passes through the 19,024 feet high Umlingla Pass and betters the previous record of a road in Bolivia, which connects volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet.
The Umlingla Pass road is another landmark in resurgent India’s achievement. It has been constructed at an altitude higher than the North and South Base Camps of Mount Everest which are at an altitude of 16,900 feet and 17,598 feet respectively.
Challenges in the construction
Speaking on the challenges BRO faced in the construction of the road to Umlingla Pass, DGBR Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry said that the construction tested both the human spirit and efficacy of machines in an extremely tough terrain where temperatures in winters dip to -40 degrees and oxygen levels are 50% below normal.
The BRO provided a blacktopped road to the important village of Demchok in Eastern Ladakh that will be a boon to the local population of the region as it will enhance the socio-economic conditions and promote tourism in Ladakh.
The strategically important road, which is approximately 15 kilometres long, highlights the focus of the Government in developing road infrastructure in border areas.
The Border Roads Organisation is a road construction executive force in India. It provides support to and is a part of the Indian Armed Forces. BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighbouring countries.