|EARLY TIMES REPORT|
LEH, Jan 12: The Border Roads Organisation has launched a special snow-clearing operation to keep strategic roads and passes open for troop movement amid the tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), officials said, as the force's personnel brave freezing temperatures and intimidating altitudes to keep communication lines opened. BRO officials said the organisation has launched project 'Himank' to undertake the arduous and daunting task of keeping the strategically important roads along the LAC open even though that meant maneuvering some of the highest mountain passes in the world and working in temperatures going down to minus 35 degrees Celsius.
''Winter snow clearance task this year has been particularly more challenging considering the altitude, extreme weather and the heavy deployment of the troops along the LAC,'' a senior BRO official said.
Officials said that BRO personnel deployed at altitudes ranging from 16,500-18,000 feet are relentlessly executing the winter snow-clearance.
They said the strategically important road axes and prominent mountain passes where the snow-clearance operations are carried out include Chang la, Warila, Marshimikla , Kajukondla, Kassangla, Umlingla, besides the Durbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beig Oldie Road.
During the winters, the only existing road axis connecting DBO in Sub Sector North, Hot Spring and Chushul in Eastern Ladakh, and gateway to Changthang Sector of Ladakh (via Changhla and Warila passes) gets blocked due to heavy accumulation of snow.
Officials said that to provide sustenance to troops deployed in these areas amid the tension with China, road construction companies are working tirelessly to keep the roads open and ensure connectivity all through the winter.
''To keep the roads open, meticulous planning and resources mobilisation were undertaken and adequate advance winter stocking including that of equipment spares and winter diesel was done,'' one of them said.