Ladakh highway reopens

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SRINAGAR : Traffic on the 434-km-long national highway, connecting the Ladakh region with the Kashmir valley resumed after remaining suspended due to snowfall for three days.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway and historic Mughal road, linking the Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region were also through for both way traffic.      Dozens of far-flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC), remained closed due to heavy snowfall.
”We have allowed traffic on Srinagar-Leh national highway last evening,” a traffic police official  said.  However, vehicles stranded at Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia and Meenmarg for the past three days were allowed to move towards Srinagar after the road was declared safe for journey last evening.
He said vehicles from the Kashmir valley will be allowed to move towards Leh only when all stranded vehicles on other side of the Zojila are cleared today. There was still snow at Zojila forcing authorities to allow only one-way traffic on the highway, he said, adding that two-way traffic will be resumed when there is more improvement.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has already pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to  improve the road condition.
The Centre and state government have already given approval to construct a tunnel at Zojila pass to make this strategically important highway all weather road.
Meanwhile, roads, connecting dozens of far-flung and remote villages, including near the LoC with their respective district headquarters remained closed due to one to two feet of snowfall.
The local authorities have pressed into service snow clearance machines to restore road communication links with cut off villages. (UNI)

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