The Srinagar-Kargil Highway continues to be blocked for last nine days due to snowfall and avalanches at Zogila Pass. According to reports, hundreds of passenger vehicles and trucks are stranded on the road.
A number of stranded people say that they are facing the problem of shortage of money and food and lack of accommodation.
The delay in reopening of the road is further adding to their woes. The stranded people have demanded help from the government authorities, and it must be provided to them.
The highway was closed on April 17 after avalanches hit the road for two consecutive days at Zogila Pass. Several vehicles were buried under snow and the drivers and passengers were rescued, some of them in injured condition. Later fresh snowfall occurred. The authorities ordered the closure of road initially for two days for road clearance.
Since then the road could not be reopened due to fresh snowfall and shooting stones, hitting the road at some places. It is to be seen when exactly the road will be thrown open. The stranded passengers say they are being told that the reopening of the road may take some more days.
But as of now there is no official word about the exact date for restoration of traffic. But it is being said that the road clearance operation is in progress and once it is completed, and the road is safe for vehicular traffic movement, the stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards their respective destinations.
Surely, road closure had created problems for the stranded people, but their safety is also important at the same time. The authorities cannot resume traffic movement amid possibility of avalanche or shooting stones. Mishaps can occur and the lives will be in danger.
It is important to wait till the road clearance is complete and there is no possibility of avalanches or shooting stones. The authorities must come into action and provide the necessary help to the stranded people.
Latest reports quoting officials of meteorological department indicate that there is possibility of rain and snow over upper reaches at some places from April 26 to April 28. This may further delay the reopening of the highway.
The Srinagar-Kargil highway was reopened this year in a record time (only after 68 days it was closed for winter months). While the travellers were happy with it but the early reopening also came with problems like avalanches and more snowfall.
Since the problem is being addressed presently, it is being hoped that the traffic movement will be in full swing from next month when the weather conditions particularly along Zogila Pass will improve further.