China menace, new LAC path to Depsang


Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 18

An historic caravan commerce route between Ladakh and Kashgar (now in Xinjiang, China) has been revived by India in its place path to entry the very important Sub-Sector North (SSN) in Ladakh. The Karakoram go, Depsang plains and the airfield at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) are a part of the SSN.

At current, these delicate locations will be accessed by way of the 255-km-long Darbuk-Shyok-DBO (DSDBO) highway, which at a number of factors is near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and thus uncovered to navy danger. From Ladakh’s Shyok village to Murgo (in Depsang), protecting 127 km, the DSDBO highway runs near the LAC. The Galwan valley is on the identical stretch. A 23-km tract of the DSDBO highway from Darbuk to Shyok and 105-km stretch from Murgo to the DBO is comparatively away from the LAC.

The new highway alignment begins from Sasoma, close to the bottom of Siachen Glacier, and goes eastwards throughout the 17,800-foot-high Saser La after which descends at Gapsam close to Murgo in Depsang plains. Here, the highway will be part of the present DSDBO highway. As of now a jeepable mud observe has been created from Sasoma to Saser La. Eastwards from Saser La to Saser Brangsa (an historic tenting website with no inhabitants), the 27-km observe permits simply strolling. Beyond that until Murgo, a jeepable observe is being laid out. The total alignment, to this point, is useable solely throughout summer season months, sources advised The Tribune. New Delhi is taking a name on blacktopping the whole stretch.

An all-weather highway exists between Leh and Sasoma. The route eastwards of Sasoma will permit an alternate axis to the SSN in case the DSDBO highway is focused.

The route just isn’t new, it has been a mule observe for hundreds of years. Janet Rizvi in her e-book “Trans Himalayan Caravans- Merchant Princes and Peasant Traders in Ladakh”, printed in 1999, says commerce caravans have been a daily between Ladakh and Kashgar until 1937. She describes the usage of the route throughout Saser La.

The BRO, a unit beneath the Ministry of Defence, has carved out the brand new observe beneath attempting circumstances as that is one in all rugged components of the tree-less Karakoram mountains. Temperature dips to -50°C throughout winter and hovers round 12°C in peak summer season. The Central Road Research Institute was concerned within the examine on making the highway throughout Saser La or a tunnel beneath it.

Access to key airfield

  • The very important Sub-Sector North (SSN) in Ladakh, which incorporates the Karakoram go, Depsang plains and the airfield at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), will be accessed by way of the 255-km-long Darbuk-Shyok-DBO (DSDBO) highway
  • As an alternate route, India is now reviving an previous commerce observe from Sasoma, close to the bottom of Siachen Glacier, to Gapsam close to Murgo in Depsang plains



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