In record 68 days, the BRO has opened the Zojila Pass. The snow clearance operations- Project Beacon and Project Vijayak were undertaken.
- Located in the Greater Himalayan Range.
- Acts as a gateway between Union Territories- Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.
- The pass connects the Kashmir Valley to its west with the Dras and Suru valleys to its northeast and the Indus valley further east.
- It is the second-highest pass after Fotu La.
- History: At the time of the Indo-Pakistani War in 1947, this pass was seized by the Pakistani raiders in 1948 while they were in the wake of capturing Ladakh. On 1st November, the pass was captured by Indian forces under Operation Bison.
- The Beacon Force unit and the Vijayak Force unit of the BRO are responsible for the clearing and maintenance of the road during winter.
- Note: Zoji La tunnel- The project was approved by the government in 2018. Construction was inaugurated by Prime Minister in May 2018. When completed, it will be the longest bidirectional tunnel in Asia.
Border Roads Organisation
- The BRO was constituted in 1960.
- To secure India’s borders and develop infrastructure in remote areas of the north and north-east states of the country.
- It is a road construction executive force in India that provides support to the Indian Armed Forces. It is an integral part of Army.
- Motto: “Shramena Sarvam Sadhyam” (Everything is achievable through hardwork)
- In order to ensure coordination and expeditious execution of projects, the Government of India set up the Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) with the Prime Minister as Chairman of the board and with the Defence Minister as Deputy chairman.
- Brought under the Ministry of Defence in 2015.
- Officers are selected through the Indian Engineering Services (IES) Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
- Role of the BRO
- In Peace: Develop & Maintain the Operational Road Infrastructure of General Staff in the Border Areas. Contribute to the Socio-Economic Development of the Border States.
- In War: To Develop & Maintain Roads to Keep Line of Control through in Original Sectors and Re-Deployed Sectors. To Execute additional Tasks as laid down by the Govt Contributing to the War Effort.
- Project Beacon and Vijayak- To ensure connectivity for strategic requirements of Defence forces and also local people and management of road infrastructure.