Anew single-lane highway of around 135 km would come up alongside the Line of Actual Control (LAC) from Chushul to Demchok in the next two years, which will act as a major strategic road for the country in a counter to China.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on 23 January invited bids for constructing the Chushul-Dungti-Fukche-Demchok highway, also known as the CDFD road. The existing track will be made into a road as per the National Highway single lane standards in two years at the cost of nearly Rs 400 crore, as per the bid documents reviewed by News18.
The new road will run almost alongside the Indus River and virtually parallel to the LAC, very close to the India-China border in Leh.
For many decades, much of this key route has been a dirt track with questions being raised on why India has not been able to lay a medalled road here while China has ramped up road infrastructure across the Indus.
Chushul is where the 1962 battle of Rezang La was fought. Demchok is another area with a history of skirmishes between India and China. The new road will be strategic as it will enable quick movement of troops and equipment and also help tourism by converting this area into a circuit.
The 7.45-metre-wide road will involve the construction of three important bridges on it as well. The BRO completed the Detailed Project Report of this road in 2018. It invited bids in two packages for the road on Monday.
Second boost after Nyoma Airfield
This road will be the second boost for infrastructure in the Leh region after the BRO had last month invited bids for building the Nyoma Airfield in Ladakh, comprising an Advance Landing Ground where fighter planes can land.
News18 reported on 31 December that the Nyoma Airfield will act as a strategic asset and the upgraded advance landing ground will be one of the highest airfields in India and is located less than 50 km from the LAC.
This upgraded advance landing ground will be ready for fighter aircraft operations in two years at the cost of Rs 214 crore and will be located near the upcoming CDFD road. The site for the new advance landing ground will be spread over 1,235 acres, where a 2.7-km runway with allied military infrastructure will come up.