After closure of 68 days, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened the strategic Zojila Pass on the Greater Himalayan Range on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the pass at 11,650 feet which acts as a gateway between Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir was kept open for traffic till January 6, 2023 through relentless snow clearance operations amidst tough weather conditions, ensuring that the Pass remained closed for only 68 days this year as compared to 73 days last year and 160-180 days in earlier years.
Since the first week of February, the snow clearance operations were undertaken from both sides of the pass by Project Beacon and Vijayak, located in J-K and Ladakh respectively.
After sustained efforts, the connectivity across Zoji La Pass was initially established on March 11, 2023. Thereafter, efforts were made to improve road conditions to create safe passage of vehicles, said the Defence Ministry statement.
Likewise, Razdan Pass which provides the only road connectivity between the Gurez Sector and the Kashmir Valley has also been reopened on Thursday after a gap of just 58 days. Other important passes at Sadhna, Pharkiyan Gali and Zamindar Gali have been kept open throughout the winter season.
Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry, VSM, DGBR commended the workers of Project Beacon and Project Vijayak in achieving this feat.
Lt Gen Chaudhary said, “Early opening of the Zojila and Razdan Passes will facilitate augmentation of supply of essential goods and services for people of Ladakh and Gurez Valley.”
The DGBR further said that the trial movement of vehicles was conducted successfully and the decision to open the road for civil traffic will be taken by the civil administration after the conduct of the joint inspection.