The 434-km Srinagar-Leh National Highway, the only road connecting Kashmir Valley with frontier region of Ladakh, was thrown open to vehicular traffic on Wednesday after remaining closed for four months owing to heavy snowfall during winter.
The highway was thrown open for the traffic by Lt Gen Subrata Saha, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps here.
Complementing the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel on the timely opening of the road by braving adverse weather conditions in extremely difficult and risky terrain, Lt Gen Saha also lauded their effort in keeping the road open for an extended period in the last season.
The highway remained open for an extended period in the last season as there was less snow. It was closed on January 12 this year.
The highway was re-opened on the same day last year as this year.
The snow clearance operations, on the road where 18 to 50 feet of snow had accumulated, commenced on March 21 this year and were completed in the first week of this month. This was followed up by trials for both light and heavy vehicles to ensure that the road was fit in all respects.
Reiterating the strategic and economic importance of the highway, Lt Gen Saha said its importance to the tourism sector is significant as it provides land connectivity through some of the most breathtaking terrain in the nation, providing a lifetime experience to all those undertaking the journey.
The strategic highway passes through the 11,578-foot high Zojila Pass which lies on the lower depressions of the Himalayan ranges, some 107 km from here.
The Pass attracts the heaviest snowfall during the winter and as such it remains closed to traffic usually for five to six months in a year.