The Srinagar-Leh National highway which is spread across 434 KM and connects the Kashmir Valley with the Ladakh region has recently reopened after being inaccessible for over four months because of heavy snowfall. This highway is highly strategic in nature and was closed since December due to high snowfall and its accumulation. A part of the highway stretching from Gagangir in Ganderbal district to Drass in Kargil district was full of snow due to which the highway remained inaccessible. The snow removal operation was a hefty task and was successfully undertaken by the Border Road Organisation under Project Beacon from Gagangir to Zero Point. The highway was cleared from Drass to Zero Point under Project Vijayak. Both the projects Beacon and Vijayak started operations on March 5. However, Project Beacon completed the task on April 14, and Project Vijayak a day later. The snow clearing operations deployed dozers, earthmovers, wheel-loaders, snow cutters and other resources for completing the operation. But it was a challenging task with threats like an avalanche, poor weather and excessive snow accumulation of 30-40 feet. Lt Gen K J S Dhillon, the General Officer Commanding of 15 Corps reopened the highway recently at Zero-Point through a ceremony in which other army officials were present too. Lt Dhillon said,
I compliment the teams of both projects for opening of this road. This road is a lifeline for the people of Ladakh. It will help bring supplies and boost tourism.