Zojila Sonamarg (Jammu and Kashmir), Mar 20 (ANI): The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is working against odds in rough terrain to throw open the snow-blocked Srinagar-Leh Highway in Jammu and Kashmir, so that it is open for traffic soon.
The highway remains covered under heavy snow measuring up to seven to eight feet, cutting off Ladakh region from the rest of the country for almost six months.
Like every year, the BRO is assigned the task of clearing the snow-bound stretch across Zojila along the 434-km-long Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Highway.
The highway passes through the 11,578-foot-high Zojila pass, which lies on the lower depression of the Himalayan range, about 100 kilometers from Srinagar.
The BRO personnel have said that they would be able to clear the highway in the next 20 to 25 days and by the first week of May, the road would be officially open for traffic.
"Till now, we have covered 25 kilometers and we still have to cover seven kilometers more.
Generally, we open the highway by May and this time also we are hoping to open it by May 1," said Captain Vinayak, a BRO official in-charge of the snow clearance operation.
"It all depends on the weather also. If all goes well, then in another 20 to 25 days we would be able to open the highway," he added.
Along with the BRO personnel, there are a lot of labourers, who risk their lives in clearing the snow off the highway.
"This is very tough. We do not know where the road is leading. We have to use our minds to navigate the road. We have to be very careful," said Ghulam Rasool, a bulldozer operator.
However, they expressed happiness that when the road would finally be open, essential commodities would reach the residents of Ladakh.
"This road is closed for almost six months and right now we are trying to open it. We feel very happy because the road linking Leh to the rest of Kashmir would be open," said Nazir Ahmad, snow cutter machine operator.
The southern face of the Zojila pass through which the road passes receives huge quantities of snow during winter, cutting off Ladakh from the rest of the country for almost six months. (ANI)