BRO, police personnel brave harsh weather to keep Srinagar-Leh highway open

BRO, police personnel brave harsh weather to keep Srinagar-Leh highway open
GK Photo

Zojila, Jan 2 : The strategic Srinagar-Leh highway connecting Jammu and Kashmir with Ladakh is open for traffic movement these days despite recent snowfall and freezing cold conditions here.

Srinagar-Leh highway which usually would close by December for winter months till April in view of the snowfall as the area experience and the freezing temperatures which usually go up to minus 30 degrees, has been kept open so far for the traffic movement. Despite the snowfall at Zojila, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel, with relentless effort under Project Beacon and police ensured the opening of the Zojila pass to facilitate connectivity to Ladakh region.

Zojila Pass located at an altitude of 11600 ft on Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri road is the lifeline between Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. Officials said that due to the efforts of BRO both project Vijayak and Beacon along with the police personnel particularly posted at police post Minamarg (Kargil) the Zojila pass has been kept open so far in January.

They added that after braving adverse weather conditions including freezing temperatures, snow avalanches and stormy winds the BRO and police are facilitating smooth traffic movement on the highway.

A traffic police official at Sonamarg told Greater Kashmir that on Monday about 100 light and heavy motor vehicles were allowed from Sonamarg side to Kargil as per the traffic plan.

Incharge Police Post Minamarg, SI Ghulam Haider said that Zojila Pass has its own unique challenges of freezing temperatures and lack of oxygen and frequent avalanches, adding that despite the challenges “we are trying to ensure a safe and smooth traffic movement on the Srinagar-Leh highway in winters.”

He said that the department this year has equipped them with some equipment and warm dresses that help them to cope with the challenges during winter. He said that earlier they were not having much facilities in comparison to this year.

The official advised people traveling on the Srinagar-Leh highway to follow traffic advisory during winter months and ensure their vehicles are equipped with 4×4 facility or having anti skid chains .

Talking to Greater Kashmir a BRO official said that they have ensured connectivity for strategic requirements of Defence forces and also the local population. The snowfall in last two to three days has resulted in slippery road conditions along Zojila Pass on Srinagar – Leh highway causing disruption to traffic movement.

Project Beacon with special equipment located at Gumri, Bajri Nallah, Baltal, Sonamarg and Gaganger played a key role in opening of the Zojila Pass despite the inclement weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police Kargil Anayat Ali Chowdhury complimented the officials and police personnel posted at Minamarg for working under extreme weather conditions and ensuring safe and smooth traffic movement on Zojila Pass (Srinagar-Leh Highway ) in winter.

SP said that the department will provide all facilities and equipment to its personnel so that they don't face any inconvenience.

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