The Srinagar-Kargil highway is likely to be kept open for maximum possible time during winters.
The strategic highway which is the only surface link between Ladakh and J&K remains closed from December to April due to heavy snowfall on the Zojila pass and other areas along the highway.
Official sources told Greater Kashmir that the decision to keep the highway open was taken for buffer stocking of the essential commodities in Ladakh region.
However, only the vehicles of emergent nature and those carrying essential commodities will be allowed on the highway after traffic advisories issued in this regard, they said.
The decision is also seen in light of the "double whammy that Ladakh is facing in the shape of COVID-19 and tension along the LAC".
Sources said that Lieutenant Governor, Ladakh, R K Mathur recently held a detailed meeting with the officials and all the stakeholders to take stock of the winter stocking and status of the Zojila pass road.
The LG directed the Chief Engineer Beacon (Vijayak) to keep its men and machinery ready so that in view of snowfall the road is cleared.
The LG directed the departments concerned to ensure proper transportation and supply of essential commodities including ration, medicines, key construction materials and petroleum products to Ladakh in a stipulated time frame keeping in view the ensuing winter season.
Talking to the Greater Kashmir a beacon official said that the men and machinery have been kept ready for snow clearance as per the already issued forecast and advisory.
He said that they will try to keep the road open for maximum possible time at least till 31st December.