Bandipora 18 December (KNB): As the traffic on 85-KM long Bandipora-Gurez road was closed for couple of days due to the heavy snowfall witnessed in the higher reaches of Kashmir valley, the district administration Bandipora with the help of Border Roads Organization (BRO) is making all efforts to clear the accumulated snow at Razdan pass and make the road convenient for vehicular movement, in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Due to the first snowfall on Razdan top, which is the highest point between Gurez and Bandipora road situated at an altitude of 3300m, remains closed.
For about six months, Gurez valley remains cut off from the rest of the world and it’s inhabitants have to stock basic amenities to survive the harsh winter times.
However, this year the Bandipora district administration with the help of BRO has decided to make efforts to keep the road open.
Despite freezing temperatures, chilly winds and icy surface on the 35-kilometer long stretch from Bandipora to Razdan top, it is for the first time the district administration and BRO is putting its workforce and machinery to test and clear the road to provide extended connectivity for the inhabitants of Gurez valley with the rest of the UT.
While speaking to Rather, Commanding Officer BRO said that many teams were setup to clear the snow from the route.
“We are making efforts to open the road for traffic to connect Gurez with the rest of the world even though the weather conditions are extremely harsh.” he said.
Commanding Officer said that each team (from both sides) has officer’s subordinate staff and labourers’ and all the men have been provided snow cutting equipment and machinery such as snow cutters, bulldozers and excavators.
“To accomplish the task, these men work for more than 08 hours per day” he said, adding that while clearing the snow at the track, avalanche threat always remains there.
He said, “Despite that risk, our men are clearing snow to open the road for vehicular movement for an extended period of time in the winter and for that BRO is very keen on making it possible.”
“Even under severe cold conditions, all these brave men are working hard to complete the work. The temperature in Razdan Pass mostly remains at sub zero level, and the weather gets extremely harsh in the region during the peak winters,” he said, adding that the workforce has already faced snowfall, blizzard, and landslides.
However, the team of BRO managed to clear the snow successfully till Razdan top, Commanding Officer said.
Razdan Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.557m (11,672ft) above the sea level and is one of the scariest roads in the world. The road is winding and in many places bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters unprotected by guardrails.
The Bandipora-Gurez road is certainly breathtaking and has a fearsome reputation. The pass, also known as Tragbal Pass and Razdan pass, is closed 6 months in a year due the accumulation of huge amount of snow.
As of now, the BRO team is working non-stop to clear the snow on highest Bandipora-Gurez route up till the Razdan Pass. The task is in full force and it is expected that the route will be accessible in the coming days, if only everything works out as planned.
District Development Commissioner Bandipora Dr Owais Ahmad said that they are all geared up to cope with all the problems that emerge due to the snowfall—maintaining facilities for passengers, and ensuring smooth mobility & functioning of the valley and other essential services like electricity, water and medical emergencies.
“We have dispatched all the essential commodities earlier to the valley, fuel dumping for Gurez has been completed much before the deadline. 5.50 lack liters HSD has been stored, power availability for Gurez will be almost double compared to last year,” he said.
He further said that during harsh weather, in case of any sort of medical emergency, we have already arranged a chopper to ensure services will be provided without any delay.
Meanwhile, locals of the Gurez valley appraised the District administration and said that they combated with all odds to keep Bandipora-Gurez road open amid such harsh weather conditions. (KNB)