leh.nic.in has changed status to green , open , within the last hours. Let´s see how long it lasts..
The Srinagar-Leh closed after a single day of operation , and anonymous engineers were clearly unhappy with the decision to throw it open at this early point :
“The Army and the government wanted to open the highway earlier so we did as asked. But it’s a premature decision,” an engineer said. The same sources went on to say that avalanches may still be triggered in the coming weeks , and advised travellers to rethink early ventures over the pass.
Hundreds of passengers on the first run spent hours in high cold conditions waiting for the road to be cleared once more , and were less than enthusiastic. Weather reports talks about intermittent rain and snow , creating ideal circumstances for slush avalanches.
Areas around Zoji La have received a half meter of snow , with some avalanches as a result. The official word now is that re-clearing the road will require up two more days , and it will open only after BEACON engineers can vouchsafe a low avalanche risk :
“We cannot compromise with the lives of passengers,” in the words of project engineer A.K. Bhotany.
Sources : Tribune and Daily Excelsior , April 16th
Meanwhile the the official web road marker still flags status : closed .
SRINAGAR, Apr The 434-km long Srinagar-Leh National Highway will be put through tomorrow after remaining closed for the winter months due to five feet to 40 feet of snowfall , a senior BEACON official said.
However, the normal vehicular traffic would be allowed only from April 16, BEACON Chief Engineer A K Botaney told UNI this afternoon.
There was fresh one feet to two feet of snowfall on the Highway last week, Mr Botaney said.
However, he said, the snow was immediately cleared and repair work was undertaken on the Highway, linking Drass, the second coldest place in the world, Kargil and Leh with the rest of the country.
He said the road would be declared open tomorrow and the traffic would be allowed .
About the threat of shooting of stones and snow avalanches on the Highway, he said some of the areas were being properly maintained.
Mr Botaney said project BEACON had undertaken repair work of the road.
He added about 250 workers of BEACON were working round the clock to reopen the Highway, more than a month before schedules this time.
Full story on Daily Excelsior
Official road status , on leh.nic.in , still red/closed at this moment .