Zojila Pass on National Highway 1D, known as Ladakh`s lifeline as it connects the region to the rest of country, reopened for vehicular traffic on April 6. The pass, which shuts down for about six with the onset of winter, opened 20 days earlier this. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 21 : The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened ZojiLa Pass on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road on Tuesday (April 21, 2021) for this year after a closure of 110 days, as compared to an average of 150 days in previous years.

The Pass normally closes by mid-November every year, with the onset of winter when the temperatures dip to sub zero degrees and opens only by the end of April the next year. Average closure of pass in earlier years has been 150 days.

Located at a height of 11,650 feet, Zojila is a strategic pass that provides vital link between Kashmir Valley and Ladakh and is the key to operational preparedness of the Armed Forces.

The renewed focus on infrastructure development of border areas mandated the requirement of keeping the closure of ZojiLa Pass to the minimum.

The ZojiLa Pass was kept open till December 31, 2020 and snow clearance operations recommenced on February 7, 2021 by Projects Beacon and Vijayak of the BRO.

"The connectivity across ZojiLa was initially established on February 15, 2021 and it was planned to open the Pass for Army and civil traffic by end February/early March," BRO said in a statement.

However, continuous bad weather conditions, poor visibility and heavy snowfall resulted in triggering of avalanches, thus delaying the opening.

Finally, after herculean efforts by Projects Beacon and Vijayak of BRO, the connectivity was reestablished on April 21, and ten trucks, carrying essential fresh supplies moved across the ZojiLa Pass towards Kargil, thereby bringing much needed succor to the people of Ladakh.

Director General Border Roads (DGBR) Lieutenant General Rajeev Chaudhry commended the officials of Project Beacon and Vijayak in achieving this feat.

It will facilitate availability of essential goods and supplies for people of Ladakh, who are dependent on air traffic due to closure of the Pass as also easier movement of Army convoys.

He reiterated BRO's commitment to be in the forefront in nation building and be the best construction agency in the extremes.

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