Sonamarg: Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has started snow clearance on the 434-km Srinagar-Leh Highway. The highway was closed in January this year following heavy snowfall.
BRO officials said that amid improvement in weather conditions, BRO’s Project Vijayak and Beacon had started snow clearance on the Srinagar-Leh highway from both Drass and Sonamarg side.
They said that the toughest work for snow clearance would remain on the 30-km road stretch up to zero point of Zojilla from Sonamarg as 40 to 50 feet snow along the stretch was expected.
They said that the road runs on mountains with deep gorge on one side. The men and machinery have to take extra precautions to avoid the loss of life and property while working on the road.
“We haven’t set any timeline for the road opening. However, we expect the snow clearance work on Srinagar-Leh road to be completed by March 15 if the weather remains favourable. After assessing the road conditions, the highway is likely to reopen by March end,” an official said. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Councilor LAHDC Kargil Feroz Ahmed Khan met the Director General of BRO, Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary and urged for speeding up the snow clearance work so that the Srinagar-Leh highway reopens early this year.
Lt Gen Chaudhary assured Khan about the opening of Zojila Pass by mid March if weather allows. He said that instructions had already been passed to Chief Engineer Vijayak and Beacon. Khan appreciated the BRO for keeping Zojila Pass open till January 6 and restoring all major roads despite heavy snowfall.