Gurez-Bandipora Road to open today

Bandipora, Feb 13: The Gurez-Bandipora Road, which connects the remote Gurez Valley with the rest of Kashmir, is set to open on Wednesday, February 14, after being closed for over two weeks due to snowfall.

This would be one of the earliest openings of the road in recent years, district officials said.

They said that the snow clearance on the 85-km road had been completed and a road safety inspection was carried out on Tuesday.

The vehicles would be allowed to pass on Wednesday only with anti-skid chains, an important safety measure on the slippery road, the officials said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Education Officer of Bandipora directed the teaching staff posted in Gurez to remain stationed in Gurez Valley before another wet spell that is likely to occur from February 17.

Those who have been out of the station for any reason have been ordered to strictly comply with the directions and return to Gurez Valley so that the smooth functioning of the schools is ensured.

The locals in Gurez said that they were delighted at the news of the early road opening as it would enable them to enjoy fresh vegetables, a rare luxury in winter when they mostly rely on sundried vegetables and pulses.

Abdul Raheem Lone, a resident, said it was a never-seen event for the road to be to open in February.

“The road being shut for just two weeks was also a rare event,” he said.

Lone said that the district authorities had closed the road as a precautionary measure on January 29, anticipating snowfall.

Previously, one of the earliest openings of the road in recent years was recorded in April 2021, locals said.

The road closure for a short time and opening this soon is associated with the dry spell that Kashmir witnessed this season.

The road’s upkeep is maintained by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which began to press machinery to clear the road after each snowfall in 2018, aiming to open the road as soon as possible.

However, the inclement weather would often trigger road closure again, forcing the BRO to restart the clearance work.

The Razdaan Pass and Zadkhushi Nallah on the Gurez-Bandipora road are considered the most challenging and crucial stretches on the road.


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