Shingo La

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Shingo La
Lake-on-shingo-la.jpg
Lake on Shingo La
Elevation5,091 metres (16,703 ft)
LocationLadakh, India
RangeHimalaya
Coordinates32°54′16″N 77°11′52″E / 32.90444°N 77.19778°E / 32.90444; 77.19778Coordinates: 32°54′16″N 77°11′52″E / 32.90444°N 77.19778°E / 32.90444; 77.19778
Shingo La is located in Ladakh
Shingo La
Shingo La
Location in Ladakh
Shingo La is located in India
Shingo La
Shingo La
Shingo La (India)

Shingo-La[1] (also known as Shinku La) is a mountain pass in India, on the border between Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh.

Geography[edit]

There is a shallow lake or pool 20m below the pass. The pass is on a long-distance footpath linking Zanskar[2] 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. As of the summers of 2018 and 2019, the road from Lakong to Kurgiakh was routed within the waters of the Kurgiakh-Chu river and was 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.[3] In September of the same year the first crossing by a private motor vehicle (an SUV) was reported.[4][5] 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 was repaired and many bikers have successfully travelled. By September 2021, the 35 km stretch leading upto base of Shinkula pass was blacktoped.

Shingo La Tunnel[edit]

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. However, a new shorter 4.5 km long alignment has been approved and tunnel is expected to be completed by 2025.[6] 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.[7] 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 Ladakh will also be relieved since the valley remains cut off due to heavy snowfall during the winter.This tunnel is aimed to boost commerce in the Zanskar Valley by bringing better connectivity.

With the existing Atal Tunnel and after the completion of under-construction Shingo La Tunnel, Nimmu–Padum–Darcha Road will become all weather road.[8]

Current status[edit]

May 2021: There were two options for constructing the tunnel, longer tunnel 13.5 km was rejected and shorter 4.5 km tunnel was approved which will be completed by 2024.[8] It is understood that the total cost of the BRO tunnel construction will be around ₹1,000 crore due to simple design and requirement of basic electromechanical fittings. The 4.5km tunnel will have longitudinal ventilation using banana fans, which require minimum electricity and less operational costs.

April 2022: The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will start the construction of the shinkula tunnel by July this year. The Centre has already made 'Project Yojak' of BRO to execute this ambitious project. This 4.5 km tunnel will be completed by 2025. The south portal of the tunnel will be at base of Shinku La and the north portal at Lakhang. The tunnel will shorten the overall distance by 7 km .

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Darcha – Padum (Shingo La) Trek". aquaterra.in. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Zanskar to Ladakh Rout map". www.google.com. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  3. ^ Christoffersen, Eric. "Shingo La". Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  4. ^ Sharma, Suresh (11 September 2019). "Zanskar celebrates as new 'road' brings it 600km closer to Himachal Pradesh". Times of India. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  5. ^ Manta, Dipender (8 September 2019). "A first, 3 youths reach Padum in Zanskar from Lahaul by car". The Tribune. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is making an optional all-weather road to Ladakh via Shinku-la".
  7. ^ "Govt pushes hard to complete 1st all-weather route to Ladakh". Hindustan Times. 25 August 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  8. ^ a b Defence ministry clears the BRO tunnel under Shinkun La in Ladakh, Hindustan Times, 19 May 2021.