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Work underway to clear Srinagar-Leh highway: BRO

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Ganderbal: The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and Project Vijayak who were maintaining the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh highway have pressed men and machinery to make the road through for traffic.

The highway was closed last week following snow and since then work has been underway to clear the road.

A senior BRO official said that they are facing tough times every year during snow clearance operations due to the massive avalanches that were triggering down at several places of Zojila Pass, Zero Point, Captain Mode, Gumri, Shaitani Nallah and Pani Matha areas.

He said despite the weather remaining challenging and the threats of avalanches in these areas, they are making all-out efforts to clear snow at Zojila Pass to make the road through for traffic.

The Srinagar-Leh highway closed for winter months every year in the month of December due to the accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions particularly between Sonamarg-Zojilla and Meenmarg and due to which the region remains cut off for more than six months from J&K. The highway is the only road link connecting Ladakh region with rest of Jammu and Kashmir.

The central government had already allotted Zojila Tunnel to make the road all-weather. The 14.2 km long tunnel under Zojila Pass is nestled in the Himalayas between Sonamarg and Drass town of Kargil.

The project was approved by the government of India in January 2018 and the commencement of its construction was inaugurated by the prime minister in May 2018. It takes more than 3 to 4 hours to cross the pass but the tunnel will reduce the time to only 15 minutes. (KNO)

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