New Delhi: The strategic Srinagar-Leh highway remained out of bounds for traffic on the 12th straight day due to inclement weather and blizzard conditions at Zojilla. The high-speed winds at Zojilla Pass, resulted in the accumulation of snow on the highway, hampering traffic movement on the highway on Saturday.
Officials said that the traffic movement on the 434-km strategic Srinagar-Leh highway remained suspended due to strong winds and heavy snowfall particularly at Zojilla, Meenmarg, Sonamarg, Matayan, Zero Point, and other adjacent areas.
Hundreds of vehicles are stranded on both sides of the highway since December 6, they said, adding that at Zojilla Pass, around three feet of snow has accumulated on the road. The Border Road Organization (BRO) is also facing difficulties in clearing snow.
A traffic police official from the Kashmir side of the highway said that a number of vehicles from Sonamarg were brought back to Gagangeer.
“Due to freezing temperatures in Sonamarg, the drivers were facing a lot of difficulties, after which the vehicles had to be returned to Gagangeer,” he said.
The BRO has set up a camp in Zojila near Bajri Nallah at Sonamarg, where workers are operating, the official added. SDM Drass Asgar Hussain said that due to the accumulation of snow, the highway has been closed while the men and machinery have been pressed into service to clear the road.
He added that until they have an ‘All Green’ signal from the border roads organisation, the Traffic Police, and the District police of Ganderbal and Drass, no movement of traffic will be allowed.