In the wake of the upcoming winters, a high level committee set up for the purpose of management of the Srinagar to Kargil road had its first meeting today under the chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K. Pole.
The meeting was attended by the members of the Committee, Divisional Commissioner Ladakh Saugat Biswas, DC Ganderbal Shafqat Iqbal, SP Kargil Dr. Vinod Kumar and Additional Deputy Commissioners Kargil Tsering Motup, Leh Sonam Chosjor, Director Meteorological Department J&K Sonam Lotus.
In addition the meeting was attended by SP Ganderbal, Chief Engineer Mechanical Ladakh, Chief Engineer Mechanical Kashmir, Chief Engineer PWD, Additional SP Leh, DySP Traffic Ladakh Dy SP Traffic Kashmir, Dy Director Planning with Div Com Kashmir and senior officers of Beacon, Vijayak, 8 Mountain Div among other officers and officials.
The meeting deliberated on the standard operating procedure for opening and closing of the road from Ganderbal to Kargil. Decisions were taken on the deployment of men and machinery, health care facilities, communication facilities, accommodation for stranded passengers, Joint Control room, and regulation of traffic on the road among others.
Depending upon the traffic, movement will be permitted from Kashmir and Ladakh on alternate days which will be publicised for the information of the general public. A joint control room will be set up in Ganderbal for the efficient coordination of the traffic movement. Provisions will be made for accommodating stranded passengers which may occur in the event of closing of the Zojila pass for a long duration due to prolonged inclement weather.
DC Ganderbal, SP Ganderbal, SP Kargil, ADC Kargil, officers of Beacon, Vijayak, 8 Mountain Div briefed about their preparedness for road clearance.
It was decided that the telecom service providers at Baltal, Gagangeer, Sonamarg on the Kashmir side and Matayan, Gumri on the Kargil side will be kept operational till the final closure of the Zojila pass. It was also decided that the Meteorological Department will provide weather advisories much in advance for efficient planning by the road opening agencies. The Met Department and reports of SASE will be considered for taking decisions on the regular traffic movement on the highway.
The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang Pole directed the officers of Mechanical Division and all the road clearing agencies to deploy snow clearance machineries and vehicles immediately and position them at the vulnerable location facilitating prompt road clearance.
While appreciating the efforts of the Project Beacon and Vijayak in the previous year Divisional Commissioner Ladakh Biswas urged both the Projects to endeavour to keep the road open for the maximum possible time and ensure smooth flow of essential commodities and supplies to the otherwise winter cut-off Union Territory of Ladakh.