In what can be easily termed an extremely disappointing news for Ladakh travelers, it seems Srinagar – Leh Highway would only be cleared of snow by the 15th of May 2017.
Faced with higher than the usual amount of snow (around 40ft), BRO is having a hard time clearing Zoji La Pass of snow and has already missed multiple timelines this year. And if their new timeline of clearing Srinagar – Leh Highway of snow by 15th May is true, it means the highway might actually reopen by the third or last week of May for tourist traffic!
Last year the Srinagar – Leh Highway had reopened for traffic on the first of May. And usually it takes third or fourth of week of May to reopen Manali – Leh Highway!
This also spells bad news for internet connectivity in Ladakh, which was restored after a gap of a couple of months on the 31st of March. Only to go down a couple of days later due to heavy snowfall. Now the BSNL expects to restore proper internet connectivity to Ladakh, only after the Zoji La pass has been cleared of snow.
Until the Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway is cleared of snow and reopened for vehicular traffic, flights to Leh remain the only way to access Ladakh. Thankfully this year, the number of flights to Leh have been increased with Vistara beginning their operation from Delhi to Leh.