SRINAGAR: After a 10-day closure due to heavy snowfall and avalanches at Zojila Pass, the vital Srinagar-Leh highway has reopened for stranded passenger vehicles, bringing relief to travelers and residents of Ladakh who were cut off from the rest of the valley. The closure, prompted by adverse weather conditions and avalanches in high-altitude areas, including Zojila Pass’s Daniyan and PaniMatha, required a massive clearing operation by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for maintaining the highway.

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Zojila pass in winters (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

The initial reopening is limited to passenger vehicles, specifically those stranded during the closure. Heavy vehicles and other traffic will be permitted after further assessments and clearances by civil and police authorities.

The BRO conducted a massive operation to clear snow and debris simultaneously from Drass (in Kargil) and Sonamarg (in the valley) to facilitate the reopening.

The Srinagar-Leh highway is vital for the Ladakh region, serving as its only surface link to the rest of the UT J&K. Its closure often isolates areas like Kargil, heavily reliant on this route for connectivity with the Kashmir Valley.


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