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CS flays officials for traffic mismanagement, slow pace of works along Jmu-Sgr highway

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Directs more traffic personnel be deployed, LED signages put up for real-time advisories

Srinagar: Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta on Monday flayed the concerned agencies for traffic mismanagements along the arterial Srinagar-Jammu national highway. He also expressed concern at the tardy pace of widening and repair works along the highway.

He was chairing a meeting to review the status of National Highway-44 (Jammu-Srinagar highway) and took stock of the ongoing road-widening works especially in Ramban district.

Administrative Secretaries of departments of Revenue, Power Development, Public Works (R&B), and Forest, Ecology & Environment, besides District Development Commissioner (DDC), Ramban, SSP Traffic, National Highway, Ramban, Regional Officer, NHAI, and concerned officers participated in the meeting, an official press release informed.

It said the Chief Secretary expressed concern at the tardy rate of progress of road-widening/maintenance works, terming it as unsatisfactory.

“The problem is further aggravated by rash and indisciplined driving, leading to frequent traffic jams; shortage of traffic personnel deputed on the duty and unannounced movement of army convoys,” he added.

To improve traffic management on the national highway, the Chief Secretary directed the traffic police to double the manpower to manage traffic at all choking points in addition to implementing suitable remedies to reduce the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar which currently varies from 10 to 12 hours on account of mismanaged traffic.

To further streamline traffic movement on the National Highway, the Chief Secretary directed NHAI and DDC Ramban to develop various vehicle holding areas at Kainthi, Karol, Kowbagh near Ramban town, Peerah, Asher, near Banihal, and Ramsoo; to accommodate stranded vehicles in the event of closure of the National Highway due to bad weather.

He also directed installation of LED signage at all critical locations along the entire stretch from Jammu to Srinagar within one week to provide real-time information on the current traffic position to the commuters to help them decide the future course of their journey.

Regarding traffic movement through the new ‘Navuyug’ tunnel at Banihal, the DDC Ramban was directed to immediately operationalize both tubes of the tunnel for passage of civilian traffic.

The Chief Secretary directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to complete the macadamization of Dalwas stretch in three days and Jakheni-Nashri section by 15th August, 2021, besides immediately commencing the realignment works on Ramban-Banihal section to be completed by December 2022.

NHAI was also directed to handover the by-pass section of old national highway – Pantha Chowk-Sonwar road to PW(R&B) department for its further maintenance.

The NHAI was further asked to install crash barriers with warning signs at all critical junctions by 31st August 2021 to prevent fatal accidents on the National Highway-44.

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