Focus: Prelims, GS-I Geography, GS-III International Relations
Why in news?
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.
- Senior military commanders said the third route to connect Ladakh by road is urgently needed given Pakistan and its all-weather friend, China’s interest in the Siachen Glacier and Daulat Beg Oldie.
- This will be the first all-weather route to Ladakh which 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 Atal tunnel at Rohtang La, which will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km, is set to become operational soon.
- Apart from keeping 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.
Important Passes in relation
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).
Darcha-Padum-Nimu route requires only a tunnel through:
Shingo La (16,570 feet).
-Source: Hindustan Times