SRINAGAR, JULY 19: Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta conducted a comprehensive review of the current condition of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, aiming to facilitate smooth traffic movement on the crucial route affected by heavy rains and adverse weather conditions.
The meeting was among others attended by prominent officials including the Principal Secretary of Public Works Department (PWD), Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu, Inspector General of Traffic, concerned Deputy Commissioners, Traffic Superintendent, National Highway authorities, and other relevant officers.
During the meeting, Dr Mehta emphasized the importance of ensuring seamless traffic flow on the highway. He inquired about the status of the implementation of previous directives regarding the prohibition of overloaded vehicles on this route.
The Chief Secretary took cognizance of several key issues, including the improvement of road gradients between Ramban and Banihal, removal of debris, widening of carriageways at specific locations, allocation of truck holding areas, and the progress on the 2nd tube of Ramban flyover and the Banihal bypass.
Dr. Mehta stressed the need for decisive action against slow-moving vehicles causing traffic congestion. He directed officials to strictly enforce regulations against overloading in trucks, ensuring no such vehicles impede the movement of others. Additionally, he urged traffic authorities to maintain lane discipline and prohibit roadside parking.
Highlighting that only 60 kilometers of the more than 300-kilometer-long road is two lanes, the Chief Secretary emphasized the significance of addressing potential bottlenecks for the smooth management of traffic. He called for efficient traffic management in the Banihal Market area and strict adherence to lane discipline.
Furthermore, Dr. Mehta inquired about the road conditions from each Deputy Commissioner. He underlined that weather fluctuations should not lead to prolonged road closures, except for a few hours required for clearing, emphasizing the prompt reopening of the highway for traffic.
The Chief Secretary urged executing agencies to ensure the completion of the 2nd tube of the Ramban flyover by August 15 and the Banihal bypass by the end of the year, as per their previous commitments.
Assurances were given by the traffic authorities and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) that the implementation of these instructions would substantially enhance traffic flow and alleviate congestion on the road. They further assured that all necessary resources have been strategically positioned at critical highway stretches to avoid unnecessary traffic halts.
The Chief Secretary urged the Divisional Administration to monitor and regulate the prices of essential commodities. He directed officials to ensure their adequate availability in the market and instructed that each shop prominently displays the rate list of items to prevent overcharging, ensuring strict enforcement of the law.
With the Chief Secretary's proactive approach and focused directives, a significant improvement in traffic management and the overall condition of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is expected in the coming days.