Traffic resumed on Saturday on the national highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir after remaining suspended for weekly maintenance yesterday.
A traffic police official told UNI today no vehicle was allowed from either side on the Srinagar-Leh national highway for weekly maintenance at Zojila pass.
He said traffic had resumed today. However, Kashmir bound vehicles will ply from Kargil to Srinagar between 0600 hrs to 1100 hrs. Later Ladakh bound vehicles will ply from Sonmarg in central Kashmir after down convoy reaches there.
The UT administrations of Ladakh and J&K have decided to suspend traffic on every Friday to allow Beacon authorities to undertake maintenance and repair on the road at Zojila pass to ensure the highway remains open for two-way traffic on other weekdays, they told UNI.
The authorities have already started winter stocking in different parts of Ladakh which remained cut off during winter months due to heavy snowfall.
The highway this year remained closed for about five months from January Ist due to accumulation of heavy snow and avalanches, particularly at Zojila.
China has Deployed Weapons Near Ladakh, is Doing Night Exercises in High Places: Report
China is once again showing audacity. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducts military exercises at high altitude locations in the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the Xinjiang Military District near Ladakh. According to a report, these also include Night Drill.
The South China Morning Post newspaper reported that the PLA’s Western Theater Command had started more night drills for its units deployed along the Himalayan border. Its purpose is to train its soldiers in the new generation of weapons and equipment. The Western Theater Command of the PLA is stationed along the entire border with India.
The report said that according to the military newspaper PLA Daily, several forces in this area are conducting night war exercises at an altitude of about 5,000 meters or 16,400 feet.
“We have revised our schedules and called on soldiers to meet higher standards for high-altitude training as we face increasing challenges in a harsh combat environment,” the report quoted company commander Yang Yang as saying. Yang has also noted that the force with machines is crossing the icy highlands without light. Live-fire machine gun practicing at night.
It has also been said that the PLA’s new PHL-11 truck-mounted self-propelled 122 mm multiple system rocket launcher was deployed in the field and was being used for precision strike training.
Ladakh’s motor vehicle dept organises cycling competition to create awareness on road safety
As a part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations to commemorate the 75 years of the country’s independence, Ladakh’s Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) organised a cycling competition for road safety awareness on Sunday.
Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, R K Mathur presided as the chief guest for the event named ‘Ride for Road Safety and Wear Helmet.’
A total of 50 bikers and 200 cyclists participated in three different cycling competitions, which were flagged off from Nawang Dorjey Stobdan Stadium in Leh. The finishing point was at Spituk Pharka.
“Road safety is a very important issue. It is the responsibility of every citizen to implement safety protocols,” said Tundup Namgail, a participant.
The event was organised in collaboration with the Cycling Association Ladakh and some private firms including Maruti Suzuki Driving School, Togo Hyundai, Mentokling Mahindra, Force Motors, Neyshatok SML Isuzu, Foton PMI and Royal Enfield.
At the finishing spot in Spituk, LG Mathur felicitated the winners and distributed prizes and certificates to the winners and runner-ups of the three different categories.
Addressing the event, the Lieutenant Governor appreciated the Motor Vehicle Department for taking the initiative of organizing the cycling event.
He expressed hope that the participants, majorly comprising of young children will become ambassadors of road safety and requested them to spread awareness about its importance amongst their friends and families.
Reiterating the importance of suitable roads and related infrastructure for safe conveyance, LG Mathur urged the road project implementation agencies like PWD Ladakh, CPWD, NHIDCL, BRO etc for the construction of roads that meet all safety parameters and also highlighted the need for improvement of existing roads.
Deputy Chairman, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, Tsering Angchuk, shared that the onus of adhering to road safety and traffic rules falls on all the citizens. He expressed gratitude to the Motor Vehicle Department and the sponsors for organising the event highlighting road safety importance.
Schools in Leh to remain closed till Oct 2 amid Covid-spike
All schools and residential hostels in Leh will remain closed for the next fortnight starting from September 18, in view of fresh coronavirus cases reported from schools, the Ladakh administration said.
The order issued on Friday by the administration of the union territory said that the situation will be reviewed later.
Online classes will continue with Covid-appropriate Standard Operating Protocols, it said.
“All (Govt./Private) schools including residential hostels in Leh district shall remain closed for imparting in-person classes with immediate effect for 15 days, ie. from September 18 to October 2, thereafter, the situation shall be reviewed again. However, online classes shall be encouraged with COVID SOPs,” reads the order.
The order signed by Shrikant Balasaheb Suse, chairman of the district disaster management authority (DDMA), Leh, also instructs the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Education Officer of the district to ensure that children leaving their residential schools/hostels for their homes undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test and a seven-day home quarantine along with their family members irrespective of their test results.
Earlier, the office of the district magistrate had reported the emergence of a cluster of Covid-19 positive cases from a school and ordered the area comprising of the school campus as a containment zone and ordered contact tracing to step the further spread of the virus
Schools in the union territory had opened on September 1 after all educational institutions, were shut in April in Ladakh after a surge in Covid-19 positive cases.
Meanwhile, Ladakh on Friday reported one new COVID-19 positive case taking the total number of COVID-19 active cases in the union territory Ladakh to 109; 106 in Leh and 3 in Kargil distrct.
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