Road and Highway Safety – National Road Safety Policy, Good Samaritans, etc.

Places in news: Baralacha Pass


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Baralacha Pass

Mains level: Himalayan passes and tunnels of strategic importance

For the first time ever, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has started work on reopening the crucial Baralacha Pass in Himachal Pradesh much before schedule to restore connectivity to Leh in Ladakh.

Note all the Himalayan passes from their N-S sequences.

Baralacha Pass

  • Bara-lacha la also known as Bara-lacha Pass is a high mountain pass in the Zanskar range connecting the Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Leh district in Ladakh.
  • It is situated along the Leh–Manali Highway.
  • The Bhaga river, a tributary of the Chenab river, originates from Surya Taal lake, which is situated a few kilometres from the pass towards Manali.
  • The native name of Chenab “Chandrabhaga” represents the union of Chandra and Bhaga rivers downstream.
  • The pass also acts as a water-divide between the Bhaga River and the Yunan River.

Why is this pass so important?

  • The BRO had kept crucial passes open for a longer duration to enable the Army to undertake advanced winter stocking for the thousands of additional troops deployed in Ladakh.
  • The team has traversed a total distance of 20 km in super high-altitude conditions scrupulously crossing the Baralacha La in the Zanskar range on foot amidst sub-zero freezing conditions.
  • Frequent avalanches and slides with 15 to 20 feet of snow accumulation.

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