China’s Bridge Over the Pangong Tso in Ladakh
By Tarushi Aswani
16 January 2022
In general, bridges bring people together and facilitate trade. But for India’s Ladakhis, the bridge across the Pangong Tso brings uncertainty and apprehension.
Every year during winter, Ladakh is cut off from the rest of India due to heavy snowfall as well as the shutdown of a national highway that connects it to the Indian mainland.
This year, the people in this snow-bound region are facing heightened uncertainty. Cut off from India due to bad weather, they are also staring at a possible Chinese intrusion, with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) building a bridge across the Pangong Tso (Lake).
The Chinese are inching closer every day.
The bridge connects the North and South banks of the Pangong Tso and is expected to facilitate faster movement of PLA troops.
Hitherto, PLA soldiers needed to take a more circuitous route to commute between the PLA’s Kurnak Fort garrison on the North Bank and the Moldo garrison on the South Bank, a distance of around 200 km. It took them 12 hours to make this trip.
The new 500-meter-long bridge, which is located 25 km ahead of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Chinese held territory, will allow Chinese troops to cover this distance in just three or four hours.