Zojila pass (Jammu and Kashmir), Apr 18 (ANI): Authorities have reopened the strategic Srinagar-Leh Highway in Kashmir, which remained snow-blocked for almost five months.
The 434-kilometer-long highway links Srinagar and Kashmir with Ladakh, the snow-bound region, which can be reached only by air in the winter months.
"This is very significant for the common man as when we travel by air, the tickets are very expensive. But now by road we can travel very easily and cheaply," said Shabir Ahmad, a student.
The highway passes through the 11,578-foot high Zojila pass, which lies on the lower depression of the Himalayan range, about 100-kilometres from Srinagar.
The pass attracts the heaviest snowfall during winter and as such it remains closed to traffic for nearly six months in a year.
"I am glad about it and it would be very convenient for the people as well. Traffic would start moving. First we will open it for light vehicles and after maintaining it for a week we will open it for heavy vehicles as well," said Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Chief Engineer A K Bhutani.
"For this, we will get a trial done and after the notification heavy traffic would run as well," he added.
BRO undertakes snow clearance operations every year on all border roads in the mountainous Himalayan range, to facilitate movement of residents and military personnel to remote regions cut-off due to snow from the rest of the country. (ANI)