Kargil, Apr 3 : Horse caravans with fresh vegetables and fruits have arrived in Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir with partial clearing of the Sonamarg-Kargil Highway by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) that remained under 60 feet of snow during winter months.
While the BRO is busy giving final touches to the highway and throw it open for vehicular traffic after about six months, beeline of horses loaded with fresh vegetables and fruits have started moving.
The horse owners and labourers travel in precarious conditions with fear of avalanches and freezing temperatures continuously haunting them.
"We are carrying vegetables because there are no vegetables in Kargil right now. People will be elated to receive the vegetables there. Since vehicles cannot go, we are carrying our stuff on horses," said Zubair Ali, a horse owner.
The supplies, which are loaded on horses at Sonmarg, 87 kms away from Srinagar, are carried only during night as very low temperatures at that time prevent possibility of avalanches. They cover 50 kms after traveling for 12 hours and reach Matain where from these supplies are loaded on trucks and then taken to Kargil.
"There is shortage of vegetables because the highway was blocked for the past six months," said Mustafa Hamid, a labourer.
The highway is expected to be thrown open for vehicular traffic later this month after which supplies would be carried on trucks.
Ladakh region in which Kargil is located remains cut off by road from rest of the country during winter due to accumulation of huge amounts of snow on southern face of Zojila mountain pass.
The region heavily depends upon imports for most of food items.
The opening of the Srinagar-Leh Highway is eagerly awaited by the residents of the region. By Suhail Ahmed