CS aims to cut HMV travel time on NH-44 ahead of fruit season
Post by RK News on Saturday, August 26, 2023
Srinagar, Aug25 :In a concerted effort to minimize travel time for Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway (NH-44) ahead of the upcoming fruit season, Chief Secretary Dr.Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a comprehensive meeting involving various stakeholders, including highway authorities.
Present at the meeting were Additional Chief Secretary of Home, Principal Secretary of Public Works Department (PWD), Divisional Commissioner of Jammu, ADGP of Kashmir/Jammu, Inspector General of Traffic, Regional Officer of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), concerned Deputy Commissioners, and other officials.
Deliberating on the matter, traffic authorities presented data outlining the movement patterns of Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and HMVs on the highway. The focus was on the 70-kilometer stretch between Navyug and Chenani-Nashri Tunnels, analyzed over a 15-day period.
Dr. Mehta emphasized that HMVs with fewer than three axles should have uninterrupted movement and should not be halted along the route. He called for addressing consistently slow-moving vehicles by investigating the underlying reasons. He also underscored the need for legal penalties against vehicles causing disruption due to erratic driving.
The Chief Secretary instructed both highway authorities and Deputy Commissioners to identify specific "no halt zones" within their respective jurisdictions and ensure strict adherence. He directed improvements to road surfaces at slide-prone areas such as Dalwas, Mehad, Cafeteria Morh, and Sher-Bibi. He also emphasized the need for designated halting areas for trucks, particularly in the ongoing widening areas in Ramban District.
Dr. Mehta stressed enhanced coordination between traffic and District police, urging them to equip traffic personnel with the necessary gear. He recommended deploying additional personnel to effectively monitor and manage highway traffic.
Addressing the movement of fruit-laden trucks from the valley, the Chief Secretary highlighted the importance of involving Fruit Associations in traffic planning. He proposed using specially designed stickers to identify fruit trucks, granting them unimpeded access to reach markets. He further directed valley Deputy Commissioners to establish District Control Rooms, ensuring real-time updates for fruit growers.
RK Goyal,ACS Home, urgedfor identifying factors hindering HMV movement and optimal utilization of alternate routes like Mughal Road and Jawahar Tunnel to ease NH-44 congestion. He emphasized stricter enforcement, particularly in critical stretches.
Principal Secretary of PWD, Shailendra Kumar, called for reducing the time gap for vehicles crossing the Chenani-Banihal stretch. He suggested continuous movement without halts and optimal use of off-peak hours (1:00 am to 5:00 am) for heavy vehicle passage.
In-depth traffic analyses were presented by IG Traffic, BhimSenTuti, detailing traffic patterns, vehicle classes, and journey times. Passenger Car Unit (PCU) analysis, hourly and daily traffic trends from previous years, and tunnel traversal speeds were discussed.
The meeting concluded that extending nighttime passage for heavy vehicles (above 4-axle) and promoting continuous movement for other traffic would significantly reduce travel times. “Completion of infrastructure projects like the 2nd tubes of Kunfer tunnel, Chanderkot tunnel, and Ramban flyover by September would provide substantial relief to travellers in the future,” he informed.