Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge, inaugurated on 2nd December by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is India’s highest altitude all-weather permanent bridge, located in eastern Ladakh, nearly 45 km from the country’s border with China.
Built by the Border Road Organisation (BRO), the Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge, located between the Karakoram and Chang Chenmo mountain ranges, is a 400-meter long bridge, built at an altitude of about 15,000 feet using micro piling technology.
The bridge not only connects Durbuk with Daulat Beg Oldie but also connects the people of Ladakh and all interior areas of Jammu and Kashmir with other parts of the country, this will provide new development opportunities and investment for these areas.
After opening the Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge, Indian Defence Minister Singh recapitulated the government’s commitment to strengthen border infrastructure to effectively deal with any future threats.
The 1400-ft -long bridge on Shyok River, situated in Sub-Sector North at 14,650 ft is named after ‘Lion of Ladakh’ Col Chewang Rinchen was dedicated to the nation in his memory at a ceremony held next to it, which was also attended by Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat and daugther and granddaughter of the late highly-decorated army officer, who was awarded Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) twice.
According to a senior officials of the Border Roads Organisation, the bridge’s extensive construction is called ‘Extra Wide Bailey Bridge’ and it has 10 spans of 140 ft each and its width is 4.25 m, which built it in 15 months. It will reduce time of travel by nearly half.
Singh stated, addressing at the event that “It is matter of great pride that we are dedicating this bridge to the nation, situated in one of the strategic locations of the country, closer to the border with China. And, I pay my respects to Col Chewang Rinchen, after whom the bridge has been named.
This bridge was made not just with steel and concrete, but also with the sweat and valour of BRO’s engineers and workers.”
Director General of the BRO, Lt Gen Harpal Singh recalled the contributions of Col Rinchen and the occasions which earned him the two MVCs. Harpal Singh said “It is country’s highest permanent bridge. Also, for the first time in India, micropiling technique has been used.”
Dr Phunsog Angmo, daughter of Col Rinchen told the PTI “I am feeling so proud today that an important bridge has been named after my father. He did so much for the county and loved Ladakh.”