Sonamarg road opens for traffic, Leh still cut off

Sonamarg: The Gaganigar-Sonamarg stretch of the Srinagar-Leh highway reopened for traffic on Sunday after remaining closed for vehicular movement for nearly four months, officials said.
They said that a number of light motor vehicles including tourist and passenger cabs moved towards Sonamarg after being given the green signal by the authorities.
Sub Divisional Magistrate, Kangan, Hakeem Tanveer confirmed this and said that the road opened for light motor vehicles after permission from BRO authorities, which take care of the important national highway.
The SDM added that traffic on the mentioned stretch will ply under strict observation to avoid any inconvenience.
Sonamarg remains cut off in winter due to heavy snow on a 12-km stretch of the highway from Gaganigar.
Local residents who had migrated from Sonamarg and its adjoining areas in the month of November for the plains have also started to return.
Ponywallas and other local traders said the reopening of the road will help them resume their business early.
The road to Leh is still closed since December last year.
Sub Divisional Magistrate Hakeem Tanveer told Kashmir Reader that the BRO staff are using heavy machines and snow cutters to remove snow from the road to Leh.
He said that 50 to 60-feet snow avalanches have accumulated on the Zojila area. The snow clearance operation has so far crossed India Gate at Zojila and will reach the end point, called the Zero point, in the coming days, he said.
Tanveer added that if the weather remained good, the highway snow clearance operation will be completed very soon.
Due to heavy snowfall, Zojilla Pass remains cut off for nearly six months, and consequently, the entire Ladakh region remains cut off from the rest of the country.
The central and state governments have already decided to construct a tunnel at Zojila to make the highway an all-weather road.

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