Opening of Srinagar-Leh highway

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District admin Ganderbal to initiate criminal negligence proceeding against Beacon authorities

Umar Raina/ Agencies

Srinagar, Apr 6: Taking a strong notice on the opening of Srinagar-Leh National Highway prior to notification from the Divisional administration, the District Magistrate Ganderbal, Dr Puyush Singla Friday said that criminal negligence proceedings would be initiated against Beacon authorities.
The DC Ganderbal said, “The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir issues a notification in this regard on the basis of recommendations of district administration Ganderbal. Throwing open Srinagar-Leh highway open without consulting District administration is an illegal act. Besides, we all know there is law and order problem in Kangan and Ganderbal and by opening this highway we can’t put tourists and other people at risk,” Singla said.
Interestingly the army in its statement said that the Zojila Pass was officially opened on 06 Apr 2018 by Lt Gen AK Bhatt, GOC 15 Corps and a host of Local Administration, Police graced the event.
However the DC said that they were trying their best to open this highway but due to law and order problem they delayed the process. “We were about to issue notification in this regard. We all were shocked on Friday when we received the news about Beacon throwing it open,” he maintained.
The District Magistrate further said that it is unfortunate that beacon authorities unilaterally decided to open Srinagar Leh highway through Ganderbal district and putting the life and property of people in danger besides creating confusion considering law and order situation prevailing in the areas.
It is to mention here that the Zojila Pass was officially opened today on 06 Apr 2018 by Lt Gen AK Bhatt, GOC 15 Corps in attendance of CEC Kargil Kacho Ahmed Ali Khan, GOC 8 Mountain Division, GOC 31 Sub Area, Chief Engineer – Project Beacon, Chief Engineer – Project Vijayak and other members of both the Projects and Officers of HQ 14 & 15 Corps.
The Army in its statement issued has said that a host of other dignitaries and high ranking officials of Local Administration, Police along with the media personnel graced the event.
“The Snow Clearance Terms of Project Vijayak & Beacon were complimented by all for their dedication, hard work and perseverance in execution of this arduous task. Zojila Pass, at an altitude of 11516 ft connects the picturesque Kashmir Valley with the cold desert of Indus Valley through the 430 Km long Srinagar-Leh road. Snow clearance operations for opening of Zojila are a big challenge owing to large snow accumulation of 30-40 feet, threat of avalanches and inclement weather conditions. Adding to the difficulties is the formation of ice on the road due to low temperatures which is a constant factor,” the statement reads.
“Zojila Pass was closed on 11 Dec 2017 and the summer snow clearance operation was started on 21 Feb 2018 by Project Beacon and Project Vijayak. Dozers, JCBs, Wheel Loaders, Snow Cutters and other resources were deployed by the teams for completing the herculean task in shortest possible time. “Although the major effort of snow clearance is machine oriented, the men behind the machines really matter a lot. Since the entire road is covered with thick snow, the most difficult task is to identify the road alignment. The Snow Clearance Team with the help of local labourers performs the job with various navigational aids and natural skills. Despite all odds, Project Vijayak and Beacon has opened the road well before the normal time, with the initial linkup happening on 21 Mar 2018,” it reads. (KNS)