What is strategic importance of Khardung La Pass in Leh?
Khardung La is a mountain pass located in the Leh district in the union territory of Ladakh . It is situated north of Leh and provides a gateway to Shyok and Nubra valleys. It was built in 1976 and open for transportation in 1988. It is maintained by Border Road Organization. Khardung La is considered strategically important to India because of following reasons –
- This pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry military supplies to the Siachen Glacier, the highest battle ground in the world.
- It is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Central Asia.
- It is a gateway to strategically important Karakoram pass which act as a tri-junction point between India, China and Pakistan.
- By providing access to military supplies to Siachin Glacier, this pass allows India to have territorial control over Siachin Glacier which is claimed by Pakistan but has been under the control of Indian Army since 1984 following ‘Operation Meghdoot’.
- India is working on providing alternative connectivity to the strategically important Sub-Sector North including the Daulat Beg Oldi and work has started from the world’s highest motorable road Khardung La pass. India is working on providing alternative connectivity from Manali to Leh through Nimu-Padam-Darcha axis which will help in saving a lot of time in comparison with the existing routes. It will allow movement of troops and military equipments throughout the year.
This alternative road from Khardung La will provide an advantage to India in case there is an attack on the vital logistics supply route to Daulat Beg Oldie road at present and at the same time this route will be away from the direct enemy line of sight and delay detection of troops and military logistics movement.