In a significant boost to Indian defence capability near the Ladakh region, the country’s government has opened a strategic bridge over Shyok River which connects Ladakh with the China border. The bridge is capable of handling Heavy MBTs and Fighter Jets near India-China Border.
The river bridge is crucial for troops and military equipment deployment in the Eastern Ladakh region – a contentious region between China and India. China had recently upped its ante in the area calling the entire region disputed after India through an illegitimate and controversial presidential decree declared Jammu Kashmir & Ladakh a separate administrative zone under the direct control of Delhi on August 05, thus abolishing state’s autonomy as well against the agreement of accession signed in 1947 and against the rulings of Indian Supreme Court and Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
The construction work on the bridge has been completed in record time on the river Shyok, which rises in one of the branches of the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram. The name of the river ‘Shyok’ also means “The River of Death” in the local Ladakhi/Yarkandi language.
The bridge, in eastern Ladakh, will enable the military to speed up the dispatch of forces to the Line of Actual Control- a loosely demarcated border between India and China. It will cut the journey from 14 hrs to 6.5 hrs. This bridge will provide all-weather connectivity to the Indian armed forces as it links Durbuk in Leh to the world highest Advance Landing Ground – Daulet Beg Oldie (DBO) – located at an altitude of 16,000 feet above sea-level. The bridge has been designed to bear the weight of India’s heaviest 69-tonne battle tanks. Besides, any fighter jet can land on the bridge.
Indian Defence Minister was delighted to dedicate the newly constructed ‘Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge’ at Shyok River in Ladakh to the nation.
The above write up is based on information appearing in an article on Sputnik.