New Delhi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will next week inaugurate a bridge in northern Ladakh that will ease movement of troops to the border sector of Daulat Beg Oldi, where a 21-day military standoff between India and China had taken place in 2013, sources in the Defence Ministry said here on Thursday.
The bridge is located across the Shyok River, a tributary of the Indus, and falls on the fag end of the road connecting Leh, the principal town of Ladakh, with Karakoram Pass on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China. An all-weather road linking Leh with Karakoram Pass, through Tangtse and Chang La Pass, had been completed earlier this year. As per sources, nearly three dozen bridges have been built across snow-fed rivers and streams that fall along this road.
Defence officials said Rajnath Singh is scheduled to travel to Leh on October 21 for inauguration of the Shyok bridge.
“The alignment of the Leh-Karakoram road was very much there earlier. But other means had to be used for transportation, that is, by helicopters or long-range patrols. Now it will be easier for India to induct, maintain and launch operations from the area,” a retired Army commander told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
Troops of the People’s Republic Army (PLA) of China had entered almost 19 kms into Indian territory in April 2013 and set up tents in Raki Nala, near the Daulat Beg Oldi sector. This area is located along the LAC bordering the Xinjiang province of China...