Srinagar-Leh highway likely to open early this year

Snow clearance in full swing
Beacon Officials told Greater Kashmir that the snow clearance work on the highway was going on in full swing. [Representational Image]
Beacon Officials told Greater Kashmir that the snow clearance work on the highway was going on in full swing. [Representational Image] File/ GK

Zojila: The strategic 434 kilometre Srinagar-Leh Highway, the only road connecting the Ladakh region with rest of Jammu and Kashmir is likely to open early this year mostly because of the less snowfall as compared to previous years.

The administration of Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are ensuring that the connectivity is restored that will subsequently benefit the people besides movement of security forces.

Beacon Officials told Greater Kashmir that the snow clearance work on the highway was going on in full swing.

The highway was closed on January 5 this year following heavy snowfall after remaining open for the record time despite inclement weather.

The officials said that snow clearance operation on the Srinagar-Leh road was continuing but the men at task were facing a tough situation at few places due to snow avalanches along the road.

The official added that snow clearance work was likely to be completed by the end of this month subject to favourable weather conditions. He said only after assessing the road conditions the decision to allow traffic on the road will be taken.

Beacon officials said that Zojilla Pass on the highway which experiences heavy snowfall and remains shut for four to five months during winter is considered to be the most difficult and avalanche prone terrain.

However, this year due to the less snowfall during winters the road clearance operation is likely to take less time as compared to earlier. Reports said that nearly 8-10 feet of snow has accumulated along Zojila pass while 4-6 feet of snow has accumulated along Sonamarg-Baltal road.

Braving the bone-chilling cold, the labourers of BRO pressed the dosers and snow-cutters into service to clear the highway on Zojilla pass. The toughest work for snow clearance remains on the 30-km road stretch up to zero point of Zojilla from Sonamarg.

Project Beacon of the Border Road Organization is responsible for clearing the road up to zero point near Zojilla from Sonamarg, while the Vijayak of the BRO clears the road from the Kargil side.

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