Archive for the ‘srinagar-leh road’ Category


Grand day out with the army : cold picknick at the Zoji La

November 16, 2009


Army units set up tea tents , manned by among others a doctor and army medics, providing food and heat  after a three day standstill on the Srinagar-Leh highway yesterday. 272 civilians were served at the langar before evacuation , and truckers were provided with blankets and kerosene to thaw up after the recent heavy snowfalls , closing the Srinagar-Leh Highway after managing to bring out some 150 vehicles.

Other 3000-ish locations , like Gulmarg and Pahalgam , have also received snow the last week , lower down turning in to sleet and rain.
Jammu-Srinagar road has been unaffected.


Srinagar-Leh Not Closing October 31st

October 21, 2009

After a meeting in Srinagar with among others BRO representatives it was announced today that the road to Leh will remain open as  long as weather permits , in line with actual practice last years.

Source  : Tribune


J&K Buses on Strike ?

August 26, 2009

The All Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) Workers Union said today that they will go on a strike unless the promised new wages comes in to effect immediately.This would mean no JKSRTC buses to Leh or Delhi . Pension funds , that apparently has been unpaid for more than a decade , is another issue.


Rothang & Zoji La open

May 3, 2009

An army convoy was sent off yesterday  towards Leh from Srinagar after the Zoji La was  cleared : finally fresh fresh fruit and veggies for everyone, after the  few trucks that made it to Leh around the 20th. Five snow cutters, eight bulldozers and two snow ploughs were involved in the clearing of the road. 

At the same time the Rothang La opened by teams working from both Manali and Koksar. Additional work is required , BRO talks of a full opening of the pass by May 7th.

Both the Srinagar-Leh and Manali-Leh highway  are still shown as closed on the official roadmarker.  

UPDATE : Srinagar-Leh is now (later in the day) shown as officially open.

UPDATE , MAY 5TH :  Heavy rains in Manali, and thirty plus centimeters of snow over the Rothang.

Sources : Tribune  (J&K)  , Tribune  (HP), Daily Excelsior


Srinagar-Leh opening mid-April ?

March 30, 2009

Zoji La pass and the stretch between Sonamarg and  Drass on the Srinagar-Leh highway saw new snow on March 25th , but the BRO seem confident in an early opening of the road  : 

“The highway is expected to reopen any day after April 15 as we are just 8 km short of our target,” 


Daily Excelsior  quotes the engineer responsible  saying. In contrast to conditions in Himachal snowfall has been way over normal levels according to the same engineer : 

 during his aerial visit to the area early this week, everything was looking white from the air. In fact, he said, the height of the accumulated snow was more than the houses in some villages adjacent to the highway.


Remaining obstacles include up to thirty feet snow levels to be cleared around the Zoji La.


Srinagar-Leh to open “within a month”

March 23, 2009

A number of papers (but notably not The Tribune or Greater Kashmir ) yesterday floated a story on the clearing of the Srinagar-Leh road , with little substance beyond three statements :

* Work started on March 9th

* Snow is concentrated around the Zoji La ( Really ??)

* The road is expected to be opened “within a month ”  – hopefully not a repeat of last years experience.


Last bus to Leh

December 11, 2008

HRTC has  informed the district commissioner in Lahaul, C. Paul Rasu that buses would not run from the 11th on the Manali-Leh highway  , due to the icy roads up to Keylong.

In Srinagar a number of Ladakhis are unable to go back to Leh and will be airlifted to Kargil , past the major snow obstacles , where they can use the road again back to Leh. Weather keyword is turbulence ,with +5-8 degrees in Srinagar and -3 to -18 degrees in Leh .  Rains in the Vale , possibly more snow in the higher reaches and towards Leh.


Breaking news : Srinagar-Leh … open .

December 8, 2008

Traffic (but not buses ) has quietly resumed on the Srinagar-Leh road. Kashmiri and national news quoted a senior BEACON officer going in to some detail over the Zoji La being effectleared , and the road beig held open to Leh – this being a first in the highways history in  the second week of December. Last year the road was kept open until the first week.

“So far the road is safe for journey, but nothing can be said for tomorrow as the weather is still not good” officer Mehta was quoted to say.

In winter months there is a weekly meeting on Fridays , that barring major events (read  : heavy snow over the Zoji La ) decides if clearance operations will continue. Meanwhile all traffic police has been withdrawn along the road since December 1st.

Weather :

Vale of Kashmir : mixed rain and snow in Gulmarg, rain in Srinagar.

Ladakh : 0 to -19 degrees in Leh , cloudy.

Lahaul : three centimeters of snow yesterday  in Keylong , with temperatures dancing just around the freezing point (- 0.7 at  night)  , rain in the lower end of the valley.

Himachal : 13 mm of rain in  Kalpa. Manali 2.5 degrees and a light dusting of snow.  Shimla still hot , 12.6 degrees by night.Chamba & Pangi snowfall in the high reaches , rain in the valleys.

Sources : Tribune , Greater Kashmir , IANS 8&9 December.

(short link : )


Closed ?

November 16, 2008

Manali-Leh : closed

Todays news talk of snow over Rothang , Baralacha , Lachulung and Tanglang La , and quotes the District Commisioner in Spiti , C. Paul Rasu :

“As a precautionary measure, we have decided to close the traffic on the National Highway 21 from Nov 15 onwards”.

Srinagar-Leh : closed (?)

Yesterdays news talk of the Srinagar-Leh road being cleared of two feet of snow near Sonamarg and three feet of snow around the Zoji La , and no snow beyond (i.e. nearer to Leh) that.
Tribune quotes the chief engineer on the Beacon project as being very specific on the issue :
““We pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the snow and allow normal traffic from the both sides”
“We had decided to close the highway from November 1 to avoid any tragedy on the highway,” he said, adding later the traffic movement was allowed keeping in view the dry weather.
“The road will be closed the moment we think that journey is risky.”

The decision to keep the road open may also have been influenced by the public criticism the announcement of the upcoming Otober 31st closure received , The Tribune called it the “anti-thesis of the meaning of a highway” and the district commisioner went on record saying that closure could not be pre-announced , only be the result of the facts on the ground.
The actual practice is far from these anonouncements , the same story quoted an official in Kargil saying :
““If there is not much snow, then drivers ply their vehicles even in December, as was the case last year”.

UPDATE : Daily Excelsior carries a story of four hundred voters stranded in Sonmarg along the the Srinagar-Leh Highway , unable to reach the polling station in Kargil .


Srinagar in snow , road to Leh out

November 15, 2008

Times of India report that heavy snowfall has closed the airport in Srinagar , while the train chuffs on in the valley. Srinagar-Leh road closed … and still shows the road as open . Did the same thing in September as people were evacuated with helicopters from Sarchu etc.


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