Valley, Ladakh get lifeline back; connectivity along LAC boosted

| | Jammu
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Valley, Ladakh get lifeline back; connectivity along LAC boosted

Friday, 17 March 2023 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

Valley, Ladakh get lifeline back; connectivity along LAC boosted

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on Thursday restored the strategic supply lines by throwing open the mighty Zojila Pass in a record number of 68 days.

Labeled as the crucial lifeline between the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, the reopening of Zojila Pass, located on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road (NH-1) at a height of 11,650 feet, is set to boost India’s defence preparedness in the Ladakh sector amid ongoing standoff with China.

Likewise, the Razdan Pass, which provides the only road connectivity between the Gurez Sector and the Kashmir Valley, has been successfully reopened after a gap of just 58 days. Other important passes at Sadhna, Pharkiyan Gali and Zamindar Gali were kept open throughout this winter.

Speaking on the occasion at Zero Point, Zojila Pass, Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry, Director General Border Roads, said, “Early opening of the Zojila and Razdan Passes will facilitate the augmentation of supply of essential goods and services for people of Ladakh and Gurez Valley.”

He reiterated the BRO’s commitment towards nation building and service to the people. During the interaction, he said that the trial movement of vehicles was conducted successfully today, adding that the decision to open the road for civil traffic will be taken by the civil administration after the conduct of joint inspection.

Trial convoys of vehicles have been successfully passed through Zojila, thereby ensuring that the Pass remained closed for only 68 days this year as compared to 73 days last year and 160-180 days in the yesteryears.

In a written statement, the BRO said, “With the renewed focus on infrastructure development and augmentation of connectivity to the northern borders in recent years, there has been a strategic requirement of minimising the closure of Zojila Pass during winters.”

It also said that the BRO ensured that the Zojila Pass was kept open for traffic till as late as January 6 this year, thereby creating a new historic precedent of its kind.

The advantage which accrued by keeping Zozila open till this late can be assessed by the fact that almost 13,500 vehicles crossed the Pass between November-end 2022 and January 6.

The snow-clearing operations were launched in the first week of February. The snow-clearance teams were pushed into immediate action by Project Beacon and Project Vijayak from Sonamarg and Dras ends of Zojila.

After sustained and relentless efforts, initial connectivity across the Zojila Pass was established on March 11. Improvement and widening of the road surface has been carried out since then to facilitate safe passage of vehicles.  

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