23 June, 2021

Closed Open Road

Four months without fresh vegetables. Instead, Ladakh-Kargil was served some plum political messaging by the BJP. Its road to glory, however, was blocked by snow.

Srinagar-Leh highway was shut the day after it reopened
Closed Open Road

Last week, the Khree Sultan Chow Stadium in Kargil saw long queues of people waiting to buy vegetables procured by the administration. And many had to return empty-handed. People of the region have been complaining that they haven’t seen fresh vegetables in the past four months. Leh and Kargil districts are facing this shortage due to blocked roads, even though the government claimed that the Zojila pass, situated at an altitude of 11,578 ft, was cleared of snow and the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh highway thrown open to traffic on February 28, much ahead of schedule, for the first time in 70 years. Since last December, when the road was closed following heavy snowfall, the government had been claiming it would be reopened much earlier than usual. That the road would remain closed for only two months, not six (December to May) as was the case before the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, became almost the centerpiece of the BJP’s political messaging. Moreover, the government and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) described the reopening as a strategic requirement due...

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