Srinagar – Leh Highway reopens for 2017

May 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Srinagar – Leh Highway has officially reopened for 2017 with the J&K government allowing light vehicles to ply on the highway from today onward.

After an initial trial run by the army on 7th of May 2017, 25 light vehicles carrying essential commodities and 1 vehicle carrying a medically critical individual was allowed to ply on the highway on 9th of May 2017. Since then, light vehicles carrying essential commodities and taxis carrying locals were plying on the highway.

For the next couple of weeks, there is fairly high chance of avalanches or snowfall closing the Zoji La temporarily for a day or longer. Road condition too would be extremely poor and the road is fairly narrow as well due to heavy accumulation of snow.

Due to this, for the next month or so, Zoji La would be one way. With the traffic from the Kargil side being allowed to ply on the highway in the wee hours of the morning and traffic from the Sonamarg side being allowed before noon (official timings are yet to be announced.)

For all those planning to travel to Ladakh in the next few days, it is best to be extra cautious while crossing the Zoji La and have a few buffer days in hand to deal with any temporary closures.

Srinagar – Leh Highway to be cleared on 15th of May 2017

April 24, 2017 at 3:05 am

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.

Srinagar – Sonamarg road reopens

April 4, 2017 at 9:28 am

BRO has officially reopened the road from Srinagar to Sonamarg for light vehicles, with the clearance of last 10 km of snow filled stretch from Gagangeer to Sonamarg.

Snow clearance operation is in full swing to reopen the Srinagar – Leh Highway for 2017 as soon as possible and the team has managed to reach Bajri Nallah en route to Zoji La pass.

However, due to heavy snowfall and avalanches, the road to Zoji La is buried under 30 to 35 feet of snow. And is posing a severe challenge to the BRO.

Even though BRO is making all efforts to restore the road connectivity between Srinagar and Leh as soon as possible, with a target to clear snow from Zoji La by 15th of April. Due to heavy snow, there is a chance that the Srinagar – Leh Highway might take a longer time to reopen than last year.

Last year it was officially reopened for light vehicles on the 1st of May.

BRO to clear Srinagar-Leh Highway by 15th April

March 31, 2017 at 2:53 pm

In a welcome news for travelers and locals alike, BRO has announced that they will be able to clear the Srinagar – Leh Highway of snow by the 15th of April 2017.

This news came as the Chairman and Chief Executive Counselor of Kargil (LAHDC), Mr. Kacho Ahmed Ali Khan surveyed the ongoing snow clearance work en route to Zoji La.

All those planning to pack their bags and head to Ladakh via Srinagar, after hearing this news. Hold your horses, this is just a tentative date for road clearance and it can change if there is heavy snowfall or avalanche.

Add to that, after the road is cleared of snow, initially, an Indian Army convoy is dispatched from Sonamarg to Kargil to check the feasibility of allowing vehicular traffic on the road. Only after the BRO is satisfied with the road condition (this generally takes a week or so), it declares the highway open for light vehicles and a couple of weeks after that, for heavy vehicles.

Everything is dependent on prevailing weather condition, hence can change as swiftly as the weather changes in the mountains.

Last year, Srinagar – Leh Highway was reopened on the 1st of May.

Snow clearing operation begins on Srinagar – Leh

March 20, 2015 at 7:33 am

Border Road Organization (BRO) has begun snow clearing operations on the crucial Srinagar – Leh Highway, which is expected to be thrown open to vehicles by mid-April 2015.

The only stumbling block on the Srinagar – Leh Highway is the Zoji La pass, which remains buried under 20-30ft of snow for 5 months each year and requires joint effort of BRO’s Project Beacon and Vijayak to be thrown open each summer.

In a statement issued yesterday by Project Beacon’s Chief Engineer, Brig A. K. Das, “The snow clearance work has been started and will be completed by mid-April next month subject to good weather, toughest work for snow clearance remains on the 30-km road stretch up to zero point of Zoji La from Sonamarg.”

While BRO is hoping to reopen Srinagar – Leh Highway by 15th April, bad weather can delay the opening of the highway. Furthermore, initially Srinagar – Leh Highway remains unstable and Zoji La can get closed multiple times due to avalanches and snowfall.

Traffic too is strictly regulated with vehicles from each side only being allowed to cross Zoji La for few hours each day.

We will keep posting frequent updates on the road status of Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway, so make sure to subscribe to our free email updates.