Snow clearance starts on Ladakh highway, Sgr-Jmu highway through

Snow clearance starts on Ladakh highway, Sgr-Jmu highway through

Srinagar, Mar 8: Snow clearance operation has been started on this side of the Zojila pass on national highway, connecting the Ladakh region with Kashmir valley.
The highway was closed for traffic in December last year due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions due to below freezing temperature.
The historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region also remained closed since December last year.
However, the national highway, linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was through for one-way traffic and on Thursday vehicles ill ply from Jammu to Srinagar and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction.
Snow clearance operation has been started last week on 12-km-long Gagangeer-Sonmarg stretch on this side of the Zojilla pass of 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, officials said.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, have pressed into service sophisticated snow cutter and dozers into service to clear the snow accumulated on the road. However, they said, snow clearance operation on 30-km-long stretch from Sonamarg to Zero Point, Zojilla pass, was a tough.
However, people of Drass, the world’s second coldest place after Siberia, and border town of Kargil alleged that despite very less snow as compared previous years, the snow clearance operation from Sonamarg was taken up very late. They said from Drass side the snow clearance operation by HIMANK has almost been completed last month upto its area of operation. However, from Sonmarg the BRO has failed to start early snow clearance operation, they alleged.
The residents further said with a little effort by the district administration Ganderbal and BRO, the road would have been reopened last month as there was very less snowfall this winter.
Demanding that entire stretch from Sonmarg, including Zojila, be handed over to Kargil and HIMANK, the residents said people in entire Ladakh region are facing acute shortage of essentials, particularly fresh vegetables.