Srinagar, Mar 16: The strategic 434-km long Srinagar-Leh highway was thrown open by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in a record 68 days, officials said Thursday.
Talking to reporters after throwing the highway open for traffic officially, Director General Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Lt General Rajeev Chaudhary said it is always a toughest challenge to throw open Zojila pass.
“It was due to the hard work of BRO officials and men that we were able to throw the pass open in a record number of 68 days. For the past three years, we have been breaking our own records,” he said, adding that first the road was thrown open in 110 days, then in 78 days and now in just 68 days.
“Our efforts will be make the road through in just 60 days (two months),” he said. “BRO officials and men are fully acclimatized and familiar with the area. No equipment was damaged during the road opening process,” he said, reported news agency KNO.
He said the locals who work with the BRO are being provided with adequate wages, shelter and food besides warm clothes. “Some people are [working] with us for the past 25 years. We are like a family,” the DG BRO said.
He said that early opening of this road helps save RS 7 Crore a day for the government. “This road helps to send defence equipment including guns, bullets and tanks besides troops to Ladakh. Similarly, the early road opening helps give an economic push to the Ladakh region which remains cut-off from the rest of the world for six months,” the DG said, adding that “people of Ladakh can come to Srinagar through this road and carry out their economic activities.