Wednesday, 5 October, 2022
HomeIn PicturesBuilding a road to Pangong: Labourers from Nepal, Jharkhand brave precarious terrain,...

Building a road to Pangong: Labourers from Nepal, Jharkhand brave precarious terrain, biting cold

The BRO is overseeing the construction of this 250 km-long road that runs from Leh to the border with China via Chang La Pass.

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Leh: Apart from being picturesque, the 250 km-long Pangong Lake Road from Leh to the border with China via Chang La Pass is significant from a strategic point of view.

You might have to stop your vehicle more than once, given that you will see labourers — employed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) — toiling away, building the road that will allow travellers and the army access to the pristine lake along the border with China.

Vishal Singh was a businessman in Nepal before he came to Ladakh with his wife and child. He now earns Rs 14,000 each month as a labourer. For Singh, the work is tough — in the middle of nowhere, in the biting cold — but he says he will return to Nepal and revive his business after two years.

A group of labourers from Jharkhand, none of whom wished to be named, said they had been working on the road for three months, earning Rs 400-450 a day, and had another two months to go. Contractors pay daily wages and arrange accommodation, but don’t necessarily provide transportation to and from the construction site, they say.

“The other day, it rained heavily and our whole tent was flooded. What could we have done? There was no other place to go. We came to work the next day as usual,” says one labourer.

Asked about their plans for when they return to Jharkhand, one of them says: “Mazdoori, kheti [labour, farming]; there’s lots for us to do.”

Migrant workers from Nepal with their families at the construction site | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Migrant workers from Nepal with their families at the construction site | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers at work | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers at work | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers employed by BRO building the road that leads to Pangong lake | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers employed by BRO building the road that leads to Pangong lake | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

 

Construction workers climbing down the mountains to return to their tents | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers climbing down the mountains to return to their tents | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers standing in a queue to board a truck | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers standing in a queue to board a truck | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers hitchhiking to return home by sunset | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers hitchhiking to return home by sunset | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction work underway on the road leading to Pangong lake | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction work underway on the road leading to Pangong lake | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers at a construction site | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers at a construction site | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A temporary construction site in Ladakh | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A temporary construction site in Ladakh | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers at a construction site | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers at a construction site | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Army vehicles plying on the road leading to the Indo-China border | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Army vehicles plying on the road leading to the Indo-China border | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Traffic on the highway owing to road construction | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Traffic on the highway owing to road construction | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction work underway in Ladakh | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction work underway in Ladakh | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers battling harsh weather conditions | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers battling harsh weather conditions | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
An aerial view of a construction site in Ladakh | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
An aerial view of a construction site in Ladakh | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

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