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HomeNationStrategic Zojila Pass Connecting Srinagar To Leh Opened In Record 68 Days,...

Strategic Zojila Pass Connecting Srinagar To Leh Opened In Record 68 Days, To Save Rs 7 Cr A Day

Srinagar: The strategic 434 km long Srinagar-Leh highway was thrown open for vehicular traffic on Thursday by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in a record 68 days, a Defence PRO statement said. In the continuing saga of performing beyond expectations, the Border Roads Organisation added another feather in its already studded cap, by opening the mighty Zojila Pass on the Greater Himalayan Range on 16 Mar 2023. Zojila Pass is located on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road (NH-1) at a height of 11,650 feet and provides a vital strategic link between Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region. This pass used to normally close by October/ November every year and re-open only by April/ May in the yesteryears with the total closure time averaging to almost five to six months. Despite a spell of severe winter which has witnessed the highest snowfall in the last five years, BRO rose to the challenge and initiated various measures to ensure early opening of the Zojila Pass.

Finding a clear window of dry weather in the first week of Feb 2023, 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 Zojila Pass was established on 11 Mar 2023. 

Trial convoys of vehicles have been successfully passed through the Zojila on 16 Mar 2023, 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.

Talking to reporters after throwing the highway open for traffic officially, Director General Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Lt General Rajeev Chaudhary said, “it is always the toughest challenge to throw open Zojila pass. “It was due to the hard work of BRO officials and men that we were able to throw the pass open in a record number of 68 days. For the past three years, we have been breaking our own records,” he said.

“Our efforts will be making the road through in just 60 days (two months),” he said. “BRO officials and men are fully acclimatized and familiar with the area. No equipment was damaged during the road opening process.”

He said that the early opening of this road helps save RS 7 Crore a day for the government. “This road helps to send defence equipment including guns, bullets and tanks besides troops to Ladakh. Similarly, the early road opening helps give an economic push to the Ladakh region remain cut-off from the rest of the world for six months,” the DG said, 

People of Ladakh can come to Srinagar through this road and carry out their economic activities and the people of Ladakh, Kargil, and Drass have appreciated the efforts of BRO to make the road open in less time. 

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