Widening of Zojila Road on Captain Mord a big challenge: BRO

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Oct 20: Border Roads Organisation (BRO) today said it is working on widening of Zojila Upper Alignment near Captain Mord to enhance the connectivity between Ladakh region and country on National Highway 1 in Himalayan mountain range.
“We are doing the formation work on the upper alignment of Zojila Pass. There are couples of choke points which we are addressing in a methodological manner for the smooth flow of traffic,” said BRO Engineer In-charge Zojila, Captain Niraj Kumar Singh.
Singh said the most critical among them is the hard rock portion of Zojila above Captain Mord, which is 400 meter long with fragmented rock strata. He said such strata is not witnessed in any other road alignments in the State, posing a huge challenge in the road formation.
BRO works against all odds to keep the road stretch at the altitude of 11, 649 ft motorable as the Pass, the second highest after Fotu La on the Srinagar-Leh highway, is an important link between Ladakh and rest of the world, he said.
“And with chilling winds and falling boulders complicating the working environment, BRO uses modern machinery and scientific technique to cut the rocks to widen the road,” he said. Since the rock profile of the Zojila Mountains varies from soft to brittle hard, the road formation work is done methodically and after proper scientific study.
“We are using remote controlled Rock Drilling Machine for the drilling of holes for subsequent blasting,” Captain Niraj said, adding that “with the help of it we are able to achieve good drill pattern for the blast”. “We try our best to obtain maximum rock fragmentation and minimum fly rocks,” he added.
At the peak of the winter season, it becomes inaccessible but the BRO works to the keep the traffic moving for most part of the year. “Zojila Pass remains closed for around 4 months due to heavy snowfall and avalanches in the region, and maintaining it for a smooth traffic flow becomes a challenging and daunting task for BRO,” he said.
In the last one year a lot of work has taken place on Zojila starting from widening to improved riding surface, the BRO officials said, adding, the efforts of Team 122RCC of BRO are highly commendable as working in such a harsh condition is very difficult.
“The entire formation work is being done under the supervision of Col Amit Chander, Commander 32 BRTF. His continuous monitoring, regular visits to the site and direction has enhanced our work,” the Captain added.


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