New Delhi: After remaining closed for four months due to heavy snowfall, the strategic 434km-long Srinagar-Leh highway was officially re-opened by the Army on Sunday.

This is the only road that connects the Ladakh region with the rest of Jammu and Kashmir. The reopening of the highway would make the transportation of essential commodities to Ladakh possible again.

This also opens the gateway to beautiful Ladakh for tourists who plan road trips to Ladakh every year. Hundreds of vehicles, including those of the military, use this key highway every day and the Zojila Pass forms a key part of the entire road network.

The Chinar Corps of the Indian Army, during the opening ceremony, thanked a special man, Tula, who played an important role in opening the pass. Tula is a specially-abled man who cannot hear or speak. He led the work at the Zojila Pass.

According to an official, the silent warrior led a race against time to ensure he and his team complete the work at the Zojila Pass quickly.

“You are an inspiration for everyone. My salute to you and your team for completing the task of opening Zojila Pass swiftly,” said Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, GOC 15 Corps, during the opening ceremony held at zero point Zojila Pass, by flagging off a convoy.

The Zojila Pass is crucial because it is through here that the highway between Ladakh and Kashmir passes at 11,575 feet above sea level. The entire length of the highway is 434km and it was closed for four months due to heavy snowfall.

The road was closed in December 2018 and due to heavy accumulation of snow and avalanches, the reopening of the road got delayed by almost a month this year.