HT? Exclusive: ?Galwan Valley bridge that China attempted to stop in Ladakh is finished: Official

Army engineers have finished a 60-metre bridge over Galwan river in eastern Ladakh that may consolidate India’s hold of the sensitive sector by letting Indian infantry to move over the cold mountain river and also protect the 255 km strategic road from Darbuk to Daulat Beg Oldie, the last military post just south in the Karakoram Pass, top officials told Hindustan Times. The bridge was built from the formation engineers inspite of the PLA showing hostile moves in the neighborhood in order to force Indian Army to abandon the project.

Before Western Theatre Command of PLA made an “exaggerated” claim to the entire Galwan river Valley, the construction of the strategic bridge was seen as one of the triggers for the aggressive maneuvers by China’s People’s Liberation Army in eastern Ladakh that led to the standoff between the two countries.

A senior government official said the bridge was completed on Thursday, signalling how the border infrastructure upgrade projects being executed through the formation engineers and the Border Roads Organisation continues despite the PLA’s attempts to stall them.

The 4-span bridge is located three kilometres east of your Shyok river-Galwan river confluence with all the contested Patrolling Point 14 a further 2 km east with the Bailey bridge. Patrolling point 14, which has been the website from the June 15 fisticuffs, is next to the Y-junction where the Galwan rivulet joins the leading river. An Indian army base camp, called ‘120 km camp’ is in the confluence of the two rivers and next to the DSDBO road.

“We failed to pause focus on this bridge via the stand-off and kept working inspite of the violent face-off on June 15,” a senior army officer said.

Chinese People tall claim of holding the complete Galwan river valley is undoubtedly an make an attempt to lower the Indian claim line on the Shyok river. If this happens, then the Chinese can overrun the DSDBO road in times of hostility and cut the road to Dault Beg Oldie. The last Indian village before DBO, this will allow them to open another road to Pakistan via Murgo.

The Bailey bridge built on concrete pillars gives India an important advantage when it comes to access and military mobilisation and is also considered vital to protection of indian strategic interests. With Indian Army vehicles now having the capability to cross the Galvan River, the troops already have other military available options with the aggressive PLA in case of worst scenario. The bridge replaces a footbridge around the Galwan River.