SRINAGAR, AUG 11: In a comprehensive review meeting, Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta focused on ensuring the seamless movement of trucks carrying perishable fruit consignments along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, especially during the fruit season.
The meeting, which assessed the progress of various highways under the Prime Minister Development Program (PMDP), saw the Chief Secretary urging traffic authorities to make early preparations to facilitate the efficient transportation of goods.
Attended by distinguished officials including the Principal Secretary of PWD, Principal Secretaries of Forest and PDD, Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, and representatives from NHAI, NHIDCL, BRO, and other pertinent departments, the Chief Secretary emphasized the vital importance of completing interconnectivity road projects within the stipulated timeframe.
Given the challenging hilly terrain of the Union Territory (UT), alternative routes are scarce, making these road projects crucial for enhancing connectivity across various regions. Dr Mehta underscored the economic significance of these roads, highlighting their role in the upliftment of diverse areas.
The Chief Secretary firmly directed executing agencies to adhere strictly to project timelines. He urged officers, including Deputy Commissioners, to take proactive interest in ensuring the projects' punctual completion.
Addressing the specific projects, Dr Mehta urged the Divisional Administration to promptly take steps to open the completed section of the Jammu Ring Road from Raya Morh (Samba) to Nagrota (Jammu) to the public. He also emphasized the renovation of the Tarnah Bridge in Kathua within the shortest possible timeframe.
For the Srinagar Ring Road, the Chief Secretary stressed that the 20-kilometer stretch under phase-I must be accessible to the public by November of the current year. He instructed the Deputy Commissioners of Pulwama and Budgam to consider ribbon development alongside this road to optimize economic activities.
Highlighting the tourism potential, the Chief Secretary underscored the importance of completing the Jammu-Akhnoor Road, which is poised to become a key player in elevating the region's tourism prospects.
Regarding the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, Dr Mehta urged agencies to expedite the completion of tunnels such as T3, T5, and viaducts to enhance reliability. He acknowledged the reduced travel time on this route while emphasizing the need to improve the Ramban-Banihal stretch.
The review encompassed various projects including the Ramban flyover, Banihal Bypass, Qazigund bridge, Anantnag Railway Over-Bridge, and Lasjan flyover. Clear timelines were established for each project, with a strict directive to adhere to the set schedules.
The Delhi-Katra Expressway, leading to the revered shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, received heightened attention. The Chief Secretary stressed its national significance and urged continuous progress, affirming its priority status.
Highlighting the Uri-Poonch Highway, Dr Mehta emphasized its role in providing an alternate route between the UT's divisions. He called for prompt initiation of work on this project to offer relief to the public.
The progress of the Srinagar-Pulwama-Shopian-Kulgam Highway (NH-444) was reviewed, with stress on completing bypasses for Shopian, Kulgam, and Pulwama before winter. This highway promises to significantly reduce travel time, linking these districts with Srinagar.
On the occasion, the Chief Secretary enjoined upon the Divisional Administration Kashmir to ensure that there are no unnecessary halts on the highways in the valley during convoy movement.