Strategic Srinagar-Leh Highway likely to reopen for traffic early this year

A Beacon truck clears snow near Banihal on Wednesday. -Excelsior/ Parvez

Men, machinery working tirelessly: Beacon

Irfan Tramboo
Srinagar, Feb 20: As the snow clearance work on the Srinagar-Leh Highway which usually remains cut-off from the rest of the country for over 4 months continues, the authorities are hopeful of reopening the strategic road early this year ensuring renewed supplies to the population and effective movement of security forces.
The officials said that the men and machinery are working in full swing even as currently the snow clearance work is being carried out at the upper alignment of the Zojila Pass which always remains a tough spot due to it being prone to avalanches.
“Snow clearance operation is on and our machinery has just passed through one of the avalanche-prone spot known as Tyagi Slide; the operations are being carried out and there is a hope that the road might be thrown open much early this year,” CE project Beacon Brig I K Jaggi said.
He informed that currently there are at least 16 snow clearing machines available and the same have been put to use for effective snow clearance to be carried out well in time. He said that 16 machines also include 4 dozers, 4 excavators and other machinery which have been put to use along with the men who are working tirelessly for ensuring timely reopening of the strategic road.
It is also to be noted here that the Srinagar-Leh strategic road was closed for traffic early in January following heaving snow and after that, the snow clearance operations were carried out instantly to meet the deadline of reopening the road for the traffic, which are still on.
The officials said that the road remaining open until January is also a record in itself and that Beacon along with the administration is working tirelessly for the reopening of the road early this year to ensure that people are able to move at ease and the supplies which are currently reaching here through the air, start reaching through the road and without any interruption.
The officials also informed that the main stretch of snow clearance remains from Sonamarg up to the Zero Point of Zojila which is carried out by Beacon of the Border Road Organization and the Vijayak of the BRO clears the road from the opposite side.
Brigadier Jaggi said men and machinery are working every day to ensure that the most important axis of the road that connects Ladakh with the rest of the country is cleared along with other important spots so that the reopening of the entire road is made sure.
“With the snow clearance from Zojila and with its subsequent reopening, the convoy movement will also start which will ensure renewed supplies to the security forces posted ahead,” he said.