Trucks stuck on road in Kashmir
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NEW DELHI — In a marathon meeting held today to take stock of traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta impressed upon the concerned traffic authorities to clear the stranded traffic within 24 hours and certify the same at the earliest.

The meeting was virtually attended by Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production; Additional Chief Secretary, Home; both the Divisional Commissioners, Secretary of Transport; IG Traffic; concerned Deputy Commissioners and other senior officers from Traffic Department and those from NHAI.

The Chief Secretary directed the Traffic Department to formulate a viable plan for the smooth movement of traffic on the highway in association with fruit growers. He asked them to ensure that the fruit-laden trucks leaving from the Valley should reach their destinations, taking appropriate time without any undue delay.

Dr Mehta urged them to submit daily reports to his office about the travel time and the number of vehicles reaching Jammu or Srinagar, leaving from opposite directions. He enjoined upon them to publish daily the number of vehicles stranded including place and reasons thereof. He asked them to simultaneously give the time required for the restoration of the normal traffic on this road.

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The traffic management authorities were asked to augment manpower from all sources to regulate traffic efficiently. He stressed enforcing lane discipline on this highway, especially on critical stretches between Banihal and Ramban. He underscored the need of ensuring that no roadside parking is allowed except at designated parking spaces only.

For seasonal migration, the Tribal Affairs Department and Deputy Commissioners were directed to facilitate the “Deras” to move on the highway in trucks along with their family members and livestock. They were asked to make these arrangements for their easement and better traffic management on this vital link between the capital cities.

The Divisional and traffic management authorities were further told to encourage the traffic to use Mughal Road, especially the vehicles loaded with less perishable items. They were asked to augment manpower on the road to monitor and manage it effectively at places that are slide-prone and have less width.

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Further, the NHAI was directed to follow all timelines given in by the Chief Secretary in his last meeting for clearance of muck from Cafeteria Morh and Mehar. They were asked to improve the overall road surface besides blacktopping of the potholed portion between Banihal and Ramban. They were also encouraged to complete the vital T-5 Tunnel and widen of Ramsoo-Rampari-Sherbibi stretch of the road for the long-term solution of this recurring problem.

It was said that all the directions would be carried out in letter and spirit so that the travel time on the highway gets reduced considerably besides ensuring that no vehicle remains stranded for hours together.

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