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.

Ladakh digitally reconnected after 2 months!

March 31, 2017 at 1:13 pm

On the 25th of January, Ladakh became digitally disconnected to rest of India, due to optical fiber cable getting severed at Zoji La. Since the high altitude pass is currently buried under heaps of snow, it was next to impossible for BSNL officials to restore connectivity.

Accepting this unique and treacherous challenge, Indian Army’s team, consisting of army aviators, signals and avalanche panthers team took on the task to restore Ladakh’s connectivity with rest of India.

After detailed reconnaissance and planning, this team was put to task on the 20th of March and began its operation to restore civilian and defense communication.

After 9 days of numerous helicopter sorties and working in several feet of snow and temperature far below freezing, Indian Army team managed to restore communication link between Ladakh and Sonamarg on 29th of March.

While the digital connectivity between Ladakh and rest of India has finally been restored, this incidence has only heightened the need for better connectivity through multiple routes to Ladakh. So that this remote and sensitive region of India, no longer becomes digitally disconnected from rest of India for such a long time.

BRO begins work to clear Manali – Leh for 2017

March 21, 2017 at 9:40 am

BRO has started work to clear the snowbound Manali – Leh Highway of snow, in order to reopen it for 2017.

Thanks to heavier than usual snowfall in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, work to clear the Manali – Leh Highway of snow had been delayed by 20 days. Normally this snow clearing operation begins by 1st of March.

So far, BRO has managed to clear the road from Manali to Gulaba and from Sissu to Darcha.

In the next phase, BRO would be attempting to clear the road from Gulaba to Marhi and from Koksar to Sissu. While work to clear Baralacha La from Leh side would begin a little later on.

This year, Manali – Leh Highway s expected to open a little late, though hopefully, it should reopen by the first week of June, if the weather remains clear.

4 tunnels to improve road connectivity to Ladakh

March 2, 2017 at 11:54 am

Soon 4 new tunnels will be under construction in Ladakh to improve its road connectivity to rest of India. At the moment, Ladakh is completely cut off from rest of India by road for 5 months every year!

This poses a security risk for India since Ladakh is the only place where Indian Army faces off Pakistani and Chinese Armies.

Three of these new proposed tunnels are to come up on the Manali – Leh Highway.

1. 14.78 km long tunnel under Lachung La.
2. 11.25 km long tunnel under Baralacha La.
3. 7.32 km long tunnel under Tanglang La.

inspection route for Tanglang La tunnel

inspection route for Tanglang La tunnel

These tunnels will not only help BRO keep the Manali – Leh Highway open during the dead of winter, these tunnels will also significantly reduce the distance.

The fourth tunnel is to come up under Shingo La, the only pass on the Manali – Darcha – Padum – Nimmu – Leh all-weather highway, which is currently under construction.

Work for Zoji La tunnel, which is supposed to help keep Srinagar – Leh Highway open is supposed to begin soon. However, the project has run into multiple controversies, due to lack of interest shown by the bidders and is likely going to be constructed by Government of India.

These 4 new tunnels will be constructed by the same consortium, which is currently working on the Rohtang Tunnel and feasibility studies for them will be done soon.