SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta along with Additional Chief Secretary Home and Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbag Singh on Friday took first hand appraisal of the progress of four lanning of Banihal-Nashri stretch in district Ramban besides reviewing status of traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
The Chief Secretary was also accompanied by the Principal Secretary, PW (R&B) Department, Shailendra Kumar; Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar; Inspector General of Police, Traffic, Vikramjit Singh; Secretary Transport, G Prasanna Ramaswamy; Deputy Inspector General of Police, DKR, Sunil Gupta; Regional Officer (RO), National Highway Authority of India, Rohin Gupta; SSP, Ramban, Mohita Sharma; ADDC, Rajinder Sharma; Collector Land Acquisition, NHAI (ADC), Harbans Lal Sharma and other concerned officers of line departments.
The Chief Secretary visited vulnerable spots, and proposed truck holding areas at Rampadi in Chambalwas area and directed the RO, NHAI to immediately clear the debris lying at various locations alongside National Highway on Banihal Nashri stretch to facilitate smooth double lane vehicular traffic movement, besides developing truck holding areas.
The Chief Secretary issued directions for constituting a committee to be headed by Principal Secretary, PW (R&B) Department and comprising of Administrative Secretary, Transport Department; Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; IG Traffic; Deputy Commissioner and SSP Ramban to submit a plan to regulate the traffic movement smoothly on NH-44 between Banihal- Nashri stretch.
During a high level meeting at Chanderkote, the Chief Secretary directed the IGP Traffic to implement all the directions issued regarding the holding area management at all 4 proposed locations between Banihal- Ramban stretch to accommodate stranded vehicles in the event of closure of National Highway due to bad weather.
Directing the Regional Officer, NHAI to expedite the pace of the widening work, the Chief Secretary asked him to ensure macadamization of existing highway for smooth movement of traffic on the National Highway. He directed the SSP Ramban and RO NHAI to fix the timing for macadamization work to avoid inconvenience to commuters and fruit carrying trucks on the said stretch.
He directed the RO, NHAI to enhance manpower and machinery at all the vulnerable slide-prone areas for immediate clearance of landslides and debris from road, besides filling of potholes and metalling of damaged road to maintain hassle free traffic movement.
He enjoined upon them to install CCTV on these stretches for round the clock monitoring besides fair assessment of the time for which vehicles remain stranded. He asked them to declare these stretches no stopping zones and ensure that no road side parking is resorted to. He impressed upon them to keep cranes ready on the road for facilitating Towing awayof trucks which breakdown on the road.
Dr Mehta directed the concerned to provide a 24 hour helpline number to all the commuters for the instant help. He asked them to explore the possibility of following the 12 hour cycle for the truckers to move from opposite directions instead of alternate days currently adhered to.
He suggested them to use the Mughal road as an alternative in case of exigencies and blockages. He asked them to utilize the alternative Jawahar tunnel if the main road is choked.
The RO, NHAI apprised the Chief Secretary about section-wise progress on the four-lanning of National Highway including that on Nashri-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal sections.
Meanwhile, The Director General of Police directed the traffic and police department to effectively regulate the vehicular traffic movement and facilitate smooth passage of the fruit laden trucks on the Highway. He also directed the Police and District Administration to implement the orders in letter and spirit issued regarding ‘No Parking zones’.
The NHAI was further asked to immediately restore the double carriage traffic movement on these stretches. They were also told to install crash barriers and sign boards at all vulnerable spots to provide real-time information to commuters and transporters regarding traffic movement.
Earlier, IGP, Traffic made a Power Point Presentation (PPT) and briefed the meeting about account of vehicular traffic movement on Jammu- Srinagar National Highway besides highlighting the bottlenecks hindering the flow of vehicular traffic movement smoothly.