LEH: Project Himank, aptly known as ‘Mountain Tamers’ was raised on 04 Dec 1985 at Leh exclusively for the development of road communication in Ladakh region, which, till 1960 was connected with the rest of India only by mule tracks.
“The Mountain Tamers” became the pathfinders in the land of “Mountains and Monks.” The tough terrain, hard rocks, jagged snow clad peaks and sub zero temperatures were the challengers that the Pioneers of Himank thrived on. Selfless and dedicated efforts of these pioneers, as well as those who followed, have made Project Himank a respected name, not only in Ladakh, but in rest of the country too.
The Project is responsible for construction and maintenance of roads and airfields in the most inhospitable terrain in the world and has constructed some of the most technically challenging roads during last 25 years. Himank is unique in itself, as all the units and roads of the Project are located in high altitude areas at heights above 10,000 ft. There are nine major passes in the AOR of the project, ranging from 12,200 feet till 18,380 feet, across which the highest motorable road in the world crosses. .
On raising, Project Himank took over the sector of 16 Task Force and was responsible for construction and maintenance of all the roads and airfields ahead of Leh with 16 Task Force under command. Subsequently 753 BRTF and 762 BRTF were raised in 1986 and 2008 respectively as the Project’s Area of responsibility increased in Eastern and Western Ladakh sectors. The Project undertakes summer and winter snow clearance, to keep communications open 365 days a year. Snow clearance is a unique and challenging task of Himank involving seven mountain passes ranging between 12200 ft to 18380 ft in height.
Project Himank has the distinction of providing invaluable support to the Defence services during OP VIJAY in the Drass, Batalik and Siachen Sectors and they did a commendable job in keeping the Leh-Manali Axis open. Project Himank rendered glorious service during OP CLOUD BURST in 2010 and was involved in restoration of communication, opening of the airfield, rescuing people, clearing slides, reconstructing bridges and setting up of a rehabilitation camp thereby further cementing a lifelong bond between Himank and the people of Ladakh.
The Project has the distinction of constructing nearly 1500 KM of road in the last 25 years and has an impressive tally of honours and awards to its credit. These include Six Kirti Chakras, Twenty Nine Shaurya Chakras, One Sena Medal, Two Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Seven Jeevan Raksha Padak, Nine Vishisht Seva Medal, besides four hundred and forty two assorted commendations. The memorial at HQ Himank commemorates the supreme sacrifice made by self less men of Himank and the labour who laid down their lives on the alter of duty to the nation in the dizzy heights of snow clad Himalayas.
This year the Project has the following achievements to its credit:
(a) 753 Task Force of the Project was awarded the ‘Best Task Force’ Trophy.
(b) A road in the AOR of 16 Task Force of the Project was awarded the ‘Best maintained Class 9 Road’ Shield.
(c) Road Upshi – Rumste – Sarchu (and on to Manali) was restored in record time and opened to traffic for AWS, thereby saving a detour of almost 200 kms.
To commemorate the glorious 25 yrs of dedicated service to the Nation a special commemorative cover was released by Gen VK Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on 02 Dec 2011. A galaxy of Defence and Civil dignitaries graced the occasion.