‘BRO trying to open Srinagar-Leh Highway’
Srinagar, Dec 19: Even as the weather remains challenging in hilly region in Sonamarg, BRO is making all out efforts to clear the snow on at Zojila to make the road through for vehicular traffic.
Despite freezing weather conditions and icy surface on the 25-km long stretch of Sonmarg to Gumri on Srinagar-Leh Highway, it is for the first time that Border Roads Organisation is putting its workforce and machinery in such a challenging weather to clear the road off snow to provide extended connectivity to Leh with rest of the state.
Colonel Awadhesh Singh, Director Works Project Beacon, said, “We are making efforts to open the road for traffic to connect Leh with the rest of the world even though the weather conditions are extremely unfavourable for such a task.”
He said there are 35 active avalanche sites on Sonamarg-Gumri track with the snow accumulation of 4 feet recorded on Zojilla, and many of the avalanche sites are yet to be neutralized.
He said that while clearing the snow at the track, avalanche threat always remains there. “But despite that our men are clearing snow to open the road for vehicular movement for an extended period of time in winter and for that BRO is very keen on making it possible,” he said.
Niraj Singh, Engineer Incharge of Zojilla stretch said that snow clearance team is working at the Upper Alignment of Zojilla Pass since December 16.
“We are facing tough time during snow clearance. On daily basis, two avalanches trigger down the road making snow-clearance challenging for us,” he said, adding the road will be cleared of snow “but it will not be advisable for all vehicles to travel as snow accumulation is several feet”.
“Only 4/4 vehicles with chains will be allowed and advised to travel as the temperature dips to sub-zero and road surface is quite frozen and difficult to break,” he said, adding the icing on the entire stretch of the road is “very dangerous” for vehicular traffic.
He said that the average snow accumulation on road is 3-4ft at Zojila area and 2-3ft at Sonamarg.
“Continuous changing weather is also major challenge for snow clearance, as very small bracket of clear weather is available for snow clearance,” he said. (KNS)