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Why in news?

  • Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened strategic Srinagar-Leh highway that connects Ladakh with the rest of the world on 11th April 2020.
  • About 18 oil tankers and other essential commodities were initially allowed to move towards Leh/Ladakh from Zojilla pass. This was managed despite fresh snowfall in the Zojila pass.


  • Snowfall of this year had broken records of the last six decades.
  • The snow clearance operations were undertaken by project Beacon of BRO from Gagangir to zero point and the same was done by project Vijayak from Drass towards zero point.
  • The 425 kilometre Srinagar-Leh highway was closed since December 2019 due to heavy snowfall at Zojila pass.

Border Roads Organisation (BRO)

  • The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries.
  • Currently, the organisation maintains operations in twenty-one states, one UT (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), and neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
  • Presently, BRO is also involved in the construction of a tunnel at the Rohtang pass which is estimated to be ready by 2019.
  • The BRO operates in 18 Projects namely: Arunank, Beacon, Brahmank, Chetak, Deepak, Dantak, Himank, Hirak, Pushpak, Sampark, Setuk, Sewak, Shivalik, Swastik, Udayak, Vartak, Vijayak and sela tunnel.
  • The organisation’s operations are spread across India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.
  • The BRO was formed on 7 May 1960 to secure India’s borders and develop infrastructure in remote areas of the north and north-east states of the country.
  • The BRO consists of Border Roads Wing under the Ministry of Defense and the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF). Officers are selected through the Indian Engineering Services (IES) Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Some of the Important Mountain Passes in North India (Himalayas) are:

Zoji La

  • It is in the Zaskar range of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • It connects Srinagar with Kargil and Leh.
  • Beacon Force of Border Road Organization is responsible for clearing and maintaining the road, especially during the winter.
  • It has been created by the Indus River.

Bara- Lacha Pass

  • It is situated on the National Highway in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It connects Manali and Leh.

Mana Pass

  • It is located in the Greater Himalayas and connects Tibet with Uttarakhand.
  • It remains under snow for six months during winter.
  • The land route to the Kailash and the Manasarovar passes through it.

Shipki La

  • The road from Shimla to Tibet goes through this pass.
  • The Satluj River flows through this pass.
  • It is India’s third border post for trade with China after Lipu Lekh and Nathula Pass.

Lipu Lekh

  • It connects Uttarakhand with Tibet.
  • This pass is an important border post for trade with China.
  • The pilgrims for Manasarovar travel through this pass.

Nathu La Pass

  • It is located in the state of Sikkim.
  • This famous pass is located in the India- China border was reopened in 2006.
  • It forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient silk route.
  • It is one of the trading border posts between India and China.
  • It gives way to Tibet from Darjeeling and Chumbi valley.

Qara Tagh Pass

  • It is located in the Karakoram Mountains.
  • It was a subsidiary of the ancient silk route.

Khardung La

  • It is the highest motorable pass in the country.
  • It connects Leh and Siachen glaciers.
  • This pass remains closed during the winter.

Aghil Pass

  • It is situated to the North of Mount Godwin-Austen in the Karakoram.
  • It connects Ladakh with Xinjiang province of China.
  • It remains closed during the winter season from November to May.

Rohtang Pass

  • This is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • This pass connects Kullu, Spiti, and Lahul.
  • It cuts through the Pir Panjal range.
  • It links Manali and Leh by road.

Jalep La

  • This pass passes through the Chumbi valley.
  • It connects Sikkim with Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
  • The Tista River has created this pass.

Traill’s Pass

  • It is located in Uttarakhand.
  • It is situated at the end of the Pindari glacier and connects the Pindari valley to Milam valley.
  • This pass is very steep and rugged.


  • The Bomdi-La pass connects Arunachal Pradesh with Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet.
  • It is located in the east of Bhutan.

Dihang pass

  • This pass connects Arunachal Pradesh with Myanmar (Mandalay).
  • It amazingly provides passage at an elevation of more than 4000 m.

Banihal Pass

  • Banihal pass is a popular pass in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is situated in the Pir- Panjal Range.
  • It connects Banihal with Qazigund.
February 2024