Day 12: Srinagar-Kargil highway remains closed

File Photo/ GK

The Srinagar-Kargil highway remained closed for the 12th day on Sunday leaving hundreds of the vehicles stranded.

Officials said there was huge accumulation of the snow due to massive snowslides near Captain Mode Zojila. “Though the snow was cleared from the road several times, the speedy winds are causing recurring snowslides on the highway,” they said.

Deputy Commissioner, Kargil, Baseer ul haq Chaudhary told Greater Kashmir that the road was closed for traffic due to snow accumulation at Zojila pass.

He said that the speedy winds were causing snow accumulation on the road which posed a major challenge for the BRO personal in connecting the road.

A senior BRO official told Greater Kashmir that the road was connected but at one stretch the speedy winds are causing hurdles.  “We are facing extremely harsh weather conditions and speedy winds during working,” he said adding that the BRO men and machinery were trying hard to connect the road on priority.

The Srinagar-Kargil highway was reopened for one-way traffic on Wednesday after remaining closed for eight days and only army convoy and trucks were allowed to move. However soon after its reopening, the road was closed again due to fresh avalanches and gusty winds.

Meanwhile, sources said that hundreds of trucks and passengers vehicles were stranded at Drass and other areas for last 12 days. “They are awaiting the nod from the authorities to move towards Srinagar.”

The stranded passengers complained that they were facing immense hardships due to harsh weather and non-availability of heating arrangements and food.

“We are shivering in cold. There are many children and elderly people stranded on the road,” a passenger said.

Pertinently, the authorities on the recommendations of the UT administration Ladakh decided to keep open the Srinagar-Kargil highway till maximum possible time this winter amid COVID-19 pandemic and for stocking of essential commodities in Ladakh.