J&K

Srinagar-Leh highway likely to reopen shortly

Srinagar: After remaining closed for four months, the Srinagar-Leh highway in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be reopened for traffic shortly, officials of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) said on Monday.

BRO officials said its project ‘Vijayak’, maintaining the Leh-Srinagar highway till the Zojilla Pass, had completed snow clearance from Drass town upto Zojilla Pass from the Ladakh side of the highway.

“Every foot of snow proved a challenging task,” project commander Colonel Rajeev Lohani said. He said men and machinery worked without break to clear the snow for making the strategic highway motorable.

“The whole road from Zojilla Pass to Drass falls in heavy avalanche zone. The snow clearance team faced a tough challenge on a daily basis. The team has reached zero point and snow clearance may take some more days for widening activities before the highway is officially thrown open for public,” Lohani added.

He said that at least 50 feet snow was accumulated on the hills along the road and once the track was cleared and made motorable, the stretch would become a tourist attraction after Sonamarg for its snow sites and glacial hilltops.

The Srinagar-Leh highway remains closed for four months from the middle of December to middle of April each year due to heavy snowfall, especially on the Zojilla Pass that connects the Valley with the cold desert Ladakh region.

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