Thursday, March 16

BRO Reopens Srinagar-Leh National Highway After Nearly 70 Days


Last Updated: March 16, 2023, 20:32 IST

Zojila Pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Leh highway. (File photo/PTI)

Zojila Pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Leh highway. (File photo/PTI)

The Zojila pass cuts Ladakh from the rest of the country through a road link due to heavy snowfall but BRO has ensured to reopen it in just 68 days.

In a major boost for the Indian army in Ladakh, the Border Roads Organisation today reopened the strategically important 434-km Srinagar-Leh national highway, which every year closes due to snowfall for months.

The Zojila pass cuts Ladakh from the rest of the country through a road link due to heavy snowfall but BRO has ensured to reopen it in just 68 days. Usually, the road will remain closed for months in the past but now the hard work of the men and machinery is making the period shorter.

Talking exclusively to News18, Rajeev Chaudhary, Director General of BRO, said that it’s an important link for the army to send troops, arms, and ammunition. “This is a vital link for the Indian army, in case of any eventuality, we can infuse more forces there,” he said, adding that every year the target is to reduce that gap and this is giving cutting edge to our forces.

Zozila Pass is located on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road (NH-1) at a height of 11,650 feet. Though the second alternate route to Ladakh is through Manali which remains closed.

This pass normally closes by October or November every year and re-opens only by April or May in the yesteryears with the total closure time averaging almost five to six months. This year it was closed on January 6 thanks to efforts by the BRO.

Indian Army in a statement said, “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 Zozila Pass.”

Every year fresh supplies, be it for the army or civilians, are either stocked in advance or airlifted. This will also save Rs 450 crore from the exchequer this year.

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