Srinagar-Kargil highway reopens for 1-way traffic after 4 days

File Photo/ GK

The Srinagar-Kargil highway reopened on Wednesday for one-way traffic after remaining closed for four consecutive days due to snowfall on Saturday.

An official told Greater Kashmir that the highway was thrown open for one-way traffic. “First, the traffic movement from Drass side was allowed to move towards Srinagar. Now, the traffic from Sonamarg side towards Ladakh is being allowed,” the official said.

He said that hundreds of light and heavy motor vehicles crossed Zojila from both the sides.

Pertinently, the Zojila Pass had received over 2 feet deep snow. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) cleared the road for the traffic amid tough weather conditions.

Officers of civil administration, police, traffic and BRO were monitoring the traffic movement on the highway.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole today chaired a meeting to take stock of preparation for smooth traffic regulation on Srinagar – Leh highway during winter season.

The meeting, among others was attended by Div Com Ladakh, Saughat Biswas, DC Ganderbal, DC Kargil, SP Ganderbal, SP Kargil, Director MeT, CE Beacon, PD NHAI,  ED NHDCIL Srinagar and other concerned through Videoconferencing.

CE MED, CE R&B, DySP Traffic Rural also attended the meeting.

The committee constituted for management of opening and closure of Zojila pass include Div Com Kashmir, Div Com Ladakh, DC Ganderbal and DC Kargil.

At the outset, the Div Com said that decision on opening and closure of Zojila pass shall be taken only after concurrence from the said committee, an official handout said.

He directed Director MeT department to ensure regular weather forecast and decision on opening or closure of the road shall be taken after the feedback from BRO, Sonamarg Development Authority and two concerned construction agencies.

He stressed on all concerned to gear up and ensure opening of the road for both upward and downward  vehicles  for longer period.

The Div Com said that as per the present condition only one way traffic shall be allowed and emphasized concerned to apply and implement the regulations for both army and civil vehicular movement from Gangangeer in letter and spirit.

DC Ganderbal was directed to ensure  facilities including health services, besides both private and government  accommodations are made available for employees and for stranded passengers in case needed.

He stressed on deployment of cranes, snow cutters, snow pullovers, 4×4 recovery vehicles and other necessary machinery, besides establishment of joint control room, wireless services, operation of cellular towers and other related facilities are made available at all vital locations for prompt response to any exigency situation.

SSP traffic was instructed to ensure smooth regulation of traffic movement and awareness of day -wise upward and down ward convoy movement.

The Div Com stressed on concerned to ensure prompt snow clearance work and all related facilities are put in place for hassle-free and incident free traffic movement through the Zojila pass during winter months.

He said that all efforts are afoot to ensure the road remains closed  for a lesser period during this winter period, even during the peak season when the level of snowfall is high.