After closure for over two months, the strategic Srinagar-Leh national highway was thrown open for vehicular traffic by the Border Road Organization (BRO) on Thursday.
The 434 kilometer long highway serves as an important link between the people of Ladakh and Kashmir, and thousands of soldiers stationed in Ladakh region. The highway traverses through the Himalayas at Zojila pass, located at 11500 feet,and then the Zanskar Mountain Range at Fatula to enter Ladakh.
Director General Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Lt General Rajeev Chaudhary said the strategic road was reopened in a record period of 68 days. The feat was made possible by the grit, guts and comprehensive planning of BRO karmyogis of Projects Beacon and Vijayak
“ The re-opening of the highway will give a lot of relief and benefit to soldiers posted in Ladakh and the local residents ,” Chaudhary told reporters at the Zojila pass.
He said the opening of this road brings a daily benefit of Rs.7 crore to the government.
“ In one working season we are able to save Rs 400-450 crores by reopening the highway in a short time,” Chaudhary said.
After a military standoff in Ladakh sector in May 2020, that resulted in the killing of 20 Indian soldiers and five Chinese soldiers in Galwan Valley , both countries have deployed thousands of soldiers and heavy artillery along the Line of Actual Control. The relations between the two countries have been at the lowest point since the Galwan clash.