SRINAGAR, Apr 6: The 434-km long Srinagar-Leh highway, connecting Kashmir valley with Ladakh region, was thrown open for traffic today after remaining closed for almost four months.
Zojila Pass, located at an altitude of 11516 ft, which connects the picturesque Kashmir valley with the cold desert of Ladakh through the Srinagar-Leh highway, was closed on December 11 last year.
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The highway was opened for traffic today by Lt Gen A K Bhatt, General Officer Commanding of 15 Corps along with other officials in a function held at Gumri today.
The GOC said the summer snow clearance operation was started on Feb 21 this year by Project Vijayak and Beacon and they were complimented by all for their dedication, hard work and perseverance in execution of this arduous task.
Dozers, JCBs, wheel loaders, snow cutters and other resources were deployed by the teams for completing the herculean task in shortest possible time. Snow clearance operations for opening of Zojila are a big challenge owing to large snow accumulation of 30-40 feet, threat of avalanches and inclement weather conditions.
A defence spokesman said that the Snow Clearance Team with the help of local labourers performed the job with various navigational aids and natural skills and despite all odds, Project Vijayak and Beacon has opened the road well before the normal time, with the initial linkup happening on March 21 this year.
The other dignitaries who were present on the occasion included CEC Kargil, Kacho Ahmed Ali Khan, GOC 8 Mountain Division, GOC 31 Sub Area, Chief Engineer – Project Beacon, Chief Engineer – Project Vijayak and other members of both the Projects and Officers of HQ 14 & 15 Corps.