The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on Thursday opened the strategic Zojila Pass located on the Greater Himalayan Range at an altitude of 11,650 feet which acts as a gateway between Union Territories of Ladakh, and Jammu & Kashmir.
It remained closed for only 68 days this year as compared to 73 days last year and 160-180 days in the past.
“Since the first week of February, snow clearance operations were undertaken from both sides of the pass by Project Beacon and Vijayak, located in J&K and Ladakh, respectively,” a statement by the Defence Ministry said. “After sustained efforts, the connectivity across the Zojila Pass was initially established on March 11. Thereafter, efforts were made to improve road conditions to create safe passage for vehicles.”
Likewise, the Razdan Pass, which provides the only road connectivity between the Gurez sector and the Kashmir Valley, has also been successfully reopened on Thursday after a gap of just 58 days, the statement said, adding that other important passes at Sadhna, Pharkiyan Gali and Zamindar Gali have been kept open throughout the winter season.
“Early opening of the Zojila and Razdan Pass will facilitate augmentation of supply of essential goods and services for people of Ladakh and Gurez Valley,” said Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhry, Director General, BRO.
He further added that trial movement of vehicles has been conducted successfully and the decision to open the road for civil traffic will be taken by the Civil Administration after the conduct of joint inspection.