Ladakh’s Lt Governor Brigadier BD Mishra (Retd) on Friday ordered that the road at the world’s highest Key-La Pass may be declared a national highway. He said he would take up the matter of funds for the strategic Key-La road and tunnel with the Home Ministry.
Mishra said this when a delegation comprising Chief Engineer, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Rahul Gupta and Chief Engineer, Project Himank (BRO), Brigadier Gaurav S Karki, called on him.
This road connecting Leh to the Pangong Lake has a stretch that passes through Key-La Pass at 18,600 feet. The road to the summit was inaugurated on 31 August 2021.
The LG instructed Chief Engineer, Project Himank to put the work on the Khalsar-Agham-Shayok Road on fast-track mode. He also instructed the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to engage local persons from Durbuk to operate the cafeteria constructed on the sidelines of the Tangste-Lukung Road in PPP mode.
The also instructed to stop all blacktopping work in Ladakh due to its ineffectiveness under severe cold weather conditions. He also instructed Secretary, PWD, to discuss all ten pending works under CRIF so that the remaining 10% work could be completed at the earliest. He further instructed Deputy Commissioner, Leh to share the minutes of the meeting of consultation with stakeholders regarding the alignment of the Phyang-Kharu Road.
Chief Engineer, MoRTH, Rahul Gupta apprised the LG of the road development works under the Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) for Ladakh, including ten projects which are almost 90 per cent complete and could be completed at the earliest if hard-pressed.
He also complained about the progress of the sanctioned project works in Ladakh and requested intervention in expediting these project works. Gupta also sought the LG’s intervention in declaring the Key La Pass as a national highway so that necessary grants and funds can be processed for the construction of the Key La tunnel as the road is strategically important.
Chief Engineer, Project Himank, Brigadier Karki apprised the LG about the public consultation meeting held with stakeholders regarding the alignment of the Phyang-Kharu bypass road. He also apprised the LG about the expansion of the Choglamsar Road from two-lane to four-lane and also requested for administrative approval (AA) for the Khalsar-Agham-Shayok Road. He further requested to issue an order regarding the engagement of migrant or local labourers for various project works carried out by the BRO.