On March 16, 2023, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened the strategic Zojila Pass in the Greater Himalayan Range. The 11,650-foot pass, which serves as a gateway between the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, was kept open for traffic until January 6, 2023, thanks to relentless snow-clearing operations in difficult weather conditions, which ensured that the Pass remained closed for only 68 days this year, compared to 73 days last year and 160-180 days in previous years.
Zoji La Pass reopened after 68-days
Project Beacon and Vijayak, located in J&K and Ladakh, respectively, have been clearing snow from both sides of the pass since the first week of February 2023. On March 11, 2023, connectivity across Zoji La Pass was established after years of hard work. Following that, efforts were made to improve road conditions in order to ensure vehicle safety.
Similarly, Razdan Pass, which provides the only road connectivity between the Gurez Sector and the Kashmir Valley, reopened successfully on March 16, 2023, after a 58-day hiatus. Other important passes, such as Sadhna, Pharkiyan Gali, and Zamindar Gali, have remained open all winter.
Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry, VSM, DGBR spoke on the occasion and praised the Karamyogis of Project Beacon and Project Vijayak for accomplishing this feat.
“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,” Lt Gen Chaudhary said. The DGBR also stated that the vehicle trial movement was successful today, and the decision to open the road to civil traffic will be made by the Civil Administration following a joint inspection.
About Zoji La Pass
- Zoji La is a high mountain pass in Ladakh’s Kargil district.
- The pass connects Leh and Srinagar, serving as a vital link between the Union Territories of Ladakh and Kashmir.
- The “Mountain Pass of Blizzards” is Zoji la. Due to heavy snowfall, it remains closed during the winter, cutting off the Ladakh region from Kashmir.
- The Zoji la tunnel project began in 2018.
- The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil, and Leh and is Asia’s longest and most strategic bi-directional tunnel.
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