Srinagar: The strategic 434 km Srinagar-Leh highway will be thrown open for vehicular traffic on Monday after remaining closed for over five months due to heavy snowfall, officials said Sunday.
The snow clearance operation on the highway, only road linking frontier region of Ladakh with rest of Jammu and Kashmir, has been completed and the road will be thrown open for vehicular traffic on May 12,” a senior Border Road Organisation (BRO) official said
The highway was closed for vehicular traffic on December 12 last year for winters after the high altitude areas of the Valley including Zojila Pass experienced heavy snowfall. The highway passes through the 11,578 foot high Zojila Pass which lies on the lower depressions of the Himalayan ranges and receives heaviest snowfall during the winters resulting in closure of the arterial road for five or six months annually.
The BRO official said the snow clearance operation started in the beginning of March and “tons of snow was removed by the personnel of Beacon Project, with the help of modern machines, braving the hazards of high altitude, severe cold and rolling avalanches.”
Although the highway was scheduled to be opened on April 27, it was delayed due to heavy rains in Sonamarg plains and snowfall in higher reaches.
The road clearance was completed on April 29 and light vehicles of army carried out a test drive to check the safety of the road for civilian traffic, the BRO official said.