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Lake on Shingo La
|Elevation||5,091 m (16,703 ft)|
Shingo-La (also known as Shinku La) is a mountain pass in India, on the border between Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. There is a shallow lake or pool 20m below the pass. The pass is on a long-distance footpath linking Zanskar and Lahaul, used often by locals and trekkers alike. For trekkers it is one of the technically easiest 5000m passes in Indian Himalaya, involving no glacier trekking nor steep climbs. There is snow on the pass all year round, although in the summer only a small stretch of snow has to be passed. There is an official sign proclaiming height of the pass as 16,615.500 feet. The height indicated by various trekking website varies from 4900 to 5100 meters.
This pass may be considered as an entry point to Lugnak Valley in Zanskar. The nearest inhabited village on Zanskar side is Kurgiakh and on the Lahaul side is Chikka. Both the villages generally involves two days trekking from the pass. The base camp for crossing the pass are set up at Ramjak or Chumik Nakpo from Darcha side and Lakong from Padum side.
A rudimentary road to Shingo La was first constructed in 2016. The road was extended to Lakong above the Kurgiakh-Chu in 2017 and a very rough extension to the village of Kurgiakh was made by bulldozers and towed dump trucks in 2018. The Indian Government Boarder Roads Organization frequently claims that the road is motorable but as of the summers of 2018 and 2019 the road from Lakong to Kurgiakh is still routed within the waters of the Kurgiakh-Chu river and is impassible to all but tracked or large wheeled offroad construction vehicles.
The winter of 2018/2019 did severe damage to both sides of the Shingo La road and in June 2019 it was described as being rebuilt. In September of the same year the first crossing by a private motor vehicle (an SUV) was reported. The drivers told the press:
Near Lakhang, there was no road and the area was submerged in the Zanskar river. BRO’s JE Keshav Kataria... helped us by making a passable route through the river.
However, by September 2020, the stretch has been repaired and many bikers have successfully travelled.
Shingo La Tunnel
As of August 2020, the Indian government has approved preparation of a detailed project report (DPR) for constructing a 13.5 km (8.4 mi) long tunnel. National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) under Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways has expedited the detailed project report (DPR) work on the Shinkun La Tunnel. When completed, this is expected to be the world’s longest high-altitude tunnel. The tunnel will be built between Patseo village (near South portal) on Leh-Manali Highway to Lakhang village (near North portal) of Zanskar region. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is making a double-lane road between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh under Shingo La to enable all weather road connectivity between Manali and Leh via Darcha, Shingo La tunnel, Padum and Nimu with Nimmu–Padum–Darcha road. The double lane road is likely to be completed by late 2023. With the construction of the tunnel, inhabitants of about 15 villages of Zanskar Valley in Jammu and Kashmir will also be relieved since the valley remains cut off due to heavy snowfall during the winter.
- October 2020: DPR under progress for 13.5 kms long tunnel. An aerial survey by Chinook Helicopter was conducted on 15 October.
- "Darcha – Padum (Shingo La) Trek". aquaterra.in. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- "Zanskar to Ladakh Rout map". www.google.com. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- Christoffersen, Eric. "Shingo La". Retrieved 10 September 2019.
- Sharma, Suresh (11 September 2019). "Zanskar celebrates as new 'road' brings it 600km closer to Himachal Pradesh". Times of India. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Manta, Dipender (8 September 2019). "A first, 3 youths reach Padum in Zanskar from Lahaul by car". The Tribune. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is making an optional all-weather road to Ladakh via Shinku-la".
- "Govt pushes hard to complete 1st all-weather route to Ladakh". Hindustan Times. 25 August 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
- "Centre speeds up construction work of Shinku La Tunnel". ANI News. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
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