Chairman Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali took stock of the snow clearance operations on the Srinagar-Kargil road at a meeting of the concerned officers at Tourist Facilitation Center, Biamathang here today.
Superintendent of Police Kargil Dr Vinod Kumar, Additional Deputy Commissioner Kargil Sonam Chosjor, Chief Engineer Vijayak Brig A K Sohal, Commander 762 BRTF Col Rajeev Lohani besides other officers of the Civil, Police Administration and Vijayak attended the meeting.
The concerned officers informed the Chairman that snow clearance work is in progress from both ends of the Zojila Pass and the road is expected to be cleared for vehicular traffic tomorrow. They further said that Project Vijayak has already cleared the road stretch falling in its jurisdiction up to Zero Point and is presently assisting Project Beacon in the road clearance work from Sonamarg side. It was further informed in the meeting that in addition to Vijayak machinery, the District Administration has also pressed 1 JCB machine and 2 tippers of Mechanical Division Kargil to expedite the snow clearance works.
The Chairman while expressing concern over the slow pace of road clearance by BRO authorities highlighted the need for Vijayak to take the road stretch from Zojila to Sonamarg under its control so as to avoid the usual delay in road clearance. He directed Vijayak authorities to take up this matter vigorously with Beacon and other concerned so that a possible headway is achieved in this regard.
Haji Anayat said that he is already in continuous touch with the Border Roads Organization and will personally pursue the matter with the higher authorities in New Delhi. The Chairman directed the concerned to keep their men and machinery in complete readiness near Minamarg, Shaitan Nallah, Zero Point, Captain Morh and other key locations so as to ensure the smooth regulation of traffic once the highway is opened. He also instructed them to spray soil, salt and urea so as to overcome slippery conditions besides to raise passing places to allow vehicles to move without hurdles.
The Chairman directed the concerned to allow light vehicles followed by heavy vehicles and later Army convoy once the highway is opened for vehicular traffic. Haji Anayat also inquired from the officers about the arrangements of relief being made by the District Administration for the stranded passengers and directed the concerned to provide them all possible facilities.
The officers informed the Chairman that about 600 heavy and light vehicles and 1500 passengers are stranded in Kargil at different locations from Wakha to Drass and the stranded passengers are being given boarding and lodging with heating facilities at the temporary shelters located at Khree Sultan Chow Sports Stadium Biamathang, Drass and several other locations. They said that jackets and other clothing materials have also been distributed among the needy passengers. Meanwhile the Chairman also instructed the officers to prepare proposal for snow clearance work on the Kargil Sapi, Stakpa Umba and Khangral Sanjak roads during the winter time.