Ground Report | New Delhi: China bridge Pangong Lake; China is building a bridge to connect the northern and southern banks of Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh. China is building these bridges, which will reduce the time taken by China’s army to send People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel and its equipment to both sectors.
The Hindu reported, “The PLA has garrisons at Kurnak Fort on the North Bank and Maldo on the South Bank and the distance between the two is about 200 km. The bridge is 500 meters from the Chinese army base on either side. But it is. Till now it used to take 12 hours to reach from this place to another place, but now it will take only 3-4 hours.”
The source said that this bridge is at a distance of 25 km from the Line of Actual Control. The construction of the bridge has been going on for some time and it will reduce the distance by 140-150 km.
Pangong Tso, an endorheic lake, is 135 km long, of which more than two-thirds is under Chinese control. Khurnak Fort, where China is building the new bridge, is near the halfway point of the boomerang-shaped lake.
Historically a part of India, Khurnak Fort has been under Chinese control since 1958. From Khurnak Fort, the LAC is quite west, with India claiming Finger 8 and China on Finger 4.
The north and south shores of the lake were among several friction points that surfaced after the start of the standoff. Before the withdrawal of troops from the north and south coasts of India and China in February 2021, the region had seen massive mobilization and the two sides even deployed tanks at some places barely a few hundred meters away.
The 13th round of Corps Commander-level military talks in October ended in a standoff with the Indian Army saying “constructive suggestions” made by it were not acceptable to the Chinese side.
The Defense Ministry last Friday said it held several rounds of military talks with the Chinese side to defuse the situation in eastern Ladakh, without compromising on its stand of “complete disengagement and immediate restoration of status quo”. India is insisting on returning. The status quo that existed before the face-to-face.