Border Road Organisation breaks record, kept Zoji la pass open in January’s harsh weather conditions
1 year ago
In the first week of January, the Border Road Organisation (BRO) set a new record by keeping the formidable Zoji La pass on the Srinagar–Leh National Highway open to vehicular traffic. The pass, which connects the Union Territory of Ladakh with the rest of the country and is located at an elevation of 11,649 feet about 100 kilometres east of Srinagar, mostly remain closed in the winter due to significant snowfall.
This was accomplished through the BRO’s frontline projects, Vijayak and Beacon. They are all responsible for maintaining the road axis, which has strategic consequences as well as Ladakh’s socioeconomic well-being.
The pass was open until December 31 last winter, which was a record. According to an official statement released today, BRO quietly went on a campaign to improve its own record this season by reorganising and adding a few more snow clearing detachments, as well as equipping them with state-of-the-art snow clearance equipment.
In the face of harsh weather, the Beacon and Vijayak projects have been working around the clock to maintain the logistic supply line to Ladakh. Over the last two years, an unprecedented number of troops have been deployed in Ladakh to counter Chinese deployments on the opposite side of the LAC.
The government of Ladakh and the local population has praised BRO’s efforts, as this extended window relieves the logistical pressure on government agencies and allows local residents to stock up on extra food and supplies in preparation for the coming hard winters.
In the first three days of 2022, about 178 vehicles have been able to transit through the pass with the collective assistance of the BRO and the Police personnel. The numbers are considered significant because with the temperatures plummeting to Minus 20 degrees centigrade, the road is subject to extreme frosting with blizzard-like conditions, which can lead to accidents. Thus, besides snow clearance, the axis is subjected to maintenance on a daily basis to keep it road worthy, which is achieved by the relentless and selfless efforts of the Karamyogis of BRO.