In the light of heightened tension between Indian and Chinese Armies on Indo-Tibetan border in Ladakh sector and opposition from people of Kaza region, the Central government has taken a U turn on handing over of Gramphu- Kaza- Samdhoh road from Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to state Public Works Department.
In its new orders the Central government has decided to keep the maintenance of the road with the BRO.
This move had generated a controversy between the Congress and BJP leaders of Lahaul- Spiti as they had taken divergent stand on the issue.
The 260 kilometers long road is of strategic importance as it connects Kaza from Manali and Samdoh from Kinnour side bordering China and is also used for taking defence supplies to the Indian Army stationed on the Indo- Tibetan boarder.
The road generally remains opens for six months and major portion of the road up to Kaza is still kucha, it was handed over to the BRO in 2011 by Congress government after remaining with PWD for nearly 60 years.
The major concern of a section of residents of Kaza region and Congress leaders was fear of retrenchment of labour force employed with the BRO and delay in completion of widening and tarring on the road.
A group of women activist had stopped Agriculture Minister – a local MLA Dr Ram Lal Markanda from visiting the area and the Kaza police had booked dozens of them forcing Congress workers to stage a dharna at Kaza a few weeks back.
Former Lahaul MLA and Congress leader Ravi Thakur had written to Prime Minister Narender Modi and Union Roads and Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to keep the road with the BRO.
Executive Engineer of National Highway Kaza Division said, “The central government has decided to keep the road with the BRO.”