Final phase snow clearing operation on Srinagar-Leh National Highway

The snow clearing operation along the Srinagar-Leh national highway is in its final phase and efforts are underway to open the 434 km long strategic highway as soon as possible, BRO officials said on Tuesday.

The Border Roads Organization (BRO) maintains the highway which usually remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall in the Zojila pass at 3528m above sea level, a high mountain pass that crosses the valley of Kashmir to Ladakh.

The BRO’s Vijayak Project Chief Engineer, Ashish Gambir, said the snow clearing operation was in full swing in the Zojila pass and the road would be opened as soon as possible.

He gave the assurance to the chairman and chief adviser of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Kargil, Feroz Ahmad Khan, during a meeting here, an official spokesperson said.

Gambir said there is only a 2-3 km stretch left to be cleared from the Srinagar side and the highway is expected to reopen shortly. It was closed to car traffic in January this year.

The spokesperson said the chief engineer also briefed Khan on BRO projects being carried out in Kargil district.

Gambir said the recently announced bypass from Drass to Pushkum via Shimsha Kharboo is under tender and work will start on the project soon, the spokesperson said, adding that this route is expected to decongest and minimize the traffic in the towns of Kargil and Drass.

He also said that the works on the road from Kargil to Batalik are already underway, while the investigation of the Hambuting-la tunnel has been completed and other processes will be carried out soon.

Regarding the road realignment from Khangral to Sanjak, the spokesperson said that the BRO and Kargil Revenue Department decided to conduct a joint investigation on the project. As a result, the CEC assured that it would raise the issue with the UT administration.

The spokesperson said that Gambir assured that local workers who have work cards according to MGNREGA will be engaged in the Vijayak project with double the salary.

MGNREGA workers are currently paid a salary of Rs 214 per day, while the BRO project will give them at least Rs 600 per day, he said.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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