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648 accidents on Jammu-Srinagar highway claimed 93 lives in 2022: Union Ministry

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Srinagar: The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has informed that around 648 road accidents and 93 deaths were reported on Jammu-Srinagar national highway last year.

As per the official documents, the ministry informed that road closures due to landslides normally last a few hours only as National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has deployed quick response teams at vulnerable locations to remove slides and normalise traffic at the earliest.

About the facilities of trauma centres established near the accident-prone areas on the national highway, the ministry informed that the medical aid posts have been constructed by NHAI on recently completed projects and provision has also been made for construction of medical aid posts in under-construction projects.

About the steps being taken by the government to effectively minimise the incidents of road fatalities on the national highway, the Union transport ministry has stated that in Jammu-Srinagar section of NH-44, out of 260 km length, four-laning in about 210 km, including 10 tunnels in a length of 21.50 km, has already been completed.

“Work of four-laning in balance 50 km including 6 tunnels (in 9.664 km length) and viaduct (6.02 km) is under progress, which is targeted for completion by August 2025,” the official document reads.

The ministry has informed that after completion of these tunnels and viaduct, the entire NH-44 will be mostly free from the effect of landslides and all-weather connectivity will be ensured between Jammu and Srinagar.

“As part of the four-laning work and improvement of identified black spots, additional signages, road marking, rumble strips, crash barriers, lighting crash barriers as well as improvement of junction etc. have been provided at all critical identified accident prone sections for ensuring safety of road users and reducing the accident and fatalities. In addition to this, black spot rectifications works have also been undertaken at all identified stretches,” the ministry has informed.

About the collapse of any newly constructed tunnel due to environmental hazards on the Jammu Srinagar highway, the Ministry has informed that no such collapse of newly constructed tunnel has occurred so far.

“However, an under construction audit portal had collapsed due to landslide on May 19 of 2022 at Khooni Nallah location on Ramban-Banihal Section of NH-44 causing casualty of 10 labourers,” the document read.

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