In a first, Srinagar-Leh NH open for traffic movement in Feb

Ganderbal, Feb 13: The Srinagar-Leh National Highway connecting Jammu and Kashmir with Ladakh is for the first time in February open for traffic movement.

The Srinagar-Leh highway usually closes by December or the first week of January for winter months till April due to the heavy snowfall the area experiences and the freezing temperatures, which fall to minus 30 degrees.

The highway was closed on January 28 after the heavy snowfall.

It was connected after snow clearance work was done by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on Sunday, following which the traffic movement was restored.

Officials said that due to the efforts of the BRO’s both projects – Vijayak and Beacon – along with the Police personnel, particularly posted at Police Post Minamarg in Kargil, the Zojila Pass was kept open till January 6 last year.

They said with the same efforts, the highway was open for traffic movement so far although it snowed less in January this year which helped in the easy passage of traffic.

A BRO official said that snow clearance operations along the 434-km highway were completed on Sunday evening with the help of men and state-of-the-art machinery. He said that the trial movement was conducted successfully on Sunday with the help of BRO.

The decision to open the road for traffic was taken after the joint inspection by the civil administration on Monday.

In 2020-21 winter, the road was closed to traffic on December 31, 2020; in 2021-22, it was closed on January 4, 2022; and in 2022-23, it was closed on January 6, 2023, according to BRO records.

The Traffic Police officials said that subject to fair weather and road clearance, only one-way traffic for all Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) with anti-skid chains should be allowed from Sonamarg towards Minamarg on Wednesday from 10 am to 1 pm only from TCP Sonamarg and thereafter no vehicles would be allowed.

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