The snow-clearance operation at the Zojila pass along the Srinagar-Leh national highway is in full swing and likely to be completed before next week, officials said on Wednesday.
This year, the 434-km strategic highway linking Ladakh with Jammu and Kashmir was opened on February 28, much ahead of the schedule, after remaining closed for 58 days due to snowfall. This was the earliest reopening of the high-mountain Zojila pass and also the shortest closure period.
However, snowfall over the past one-and-a-half month led to the closure of the highway once again, prompting the BRO to launch a fresh operation to clear the road.
“The snow-clearance operation is in full swing and it will take a couple of days to reconnect the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway for vehicular traffic subject to fair weather conditions,” said Sanjiv Kumar, junior engineer, 55 Road Construction Company (RCC) Project Vijayak of the BRO.
Mr Kumar was briefing Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Kargil, Tsering Motup who inspected the road clearance work at Zero Point, Zojila.
The ADC interacted with the engineers and operators involved in the operation. He hailed their tireless efforts for completing the operation up to the Zero Point despite the recent heavy snowfall and hostile weather conditions, an official spokesperson said.
Later, he said, the ADC took stock of arrangements for the establishment of COVID-19 screening points at Meenamarg check-post, including the setting up of a structure for conducting RT-PCR tests for all inbound passengers.
Mr Motup directed the concerned officers to ensure that all necessary facilities like heating and other logistics should be made available soon so that COVID-19 screening activities can be carried out in a smooth and hassle-free manner, the spokesperson said.