Srinagar, Sep 1: A total of 11,616 trucks carrying fruits, vegetables, and poultry were given free access on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway from August 28 to August 30, officials said Friday.
They said that on August 30, around 5386 Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) traversed the highway from both sides including 3281 trucks, 1138 oil tankers, 141 gas tankers, 654 fruit trucks, 69 vegetable-laden trucks, 85 poultry trucks, 26 sheep trucks, and 181 food grain trucks of the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Officials said that during these three days, 7427 goods trucks, 1041 fruit trucks, 277 vegetable trucks, 181 FCI trucks, 85 poultry, 26 sheep trucks, and 255 buses crossed the highway from both sides.
They said these vehicles reached their destinations in the set timeframe of 8-10 hours facing least disruptions enroute during their travel on the treacherous road.
The officials said that the waiting time of the truckers on the highway got reduced after a team led by Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta took a holistic review of this road in-person upto Ramban from Srinagar and directed the concerned authorities not to enforce any manual halts on the highway for the HMVs.
They said that this resulted in issuance of fresh advisory by the traffic department ordering no hindrance on the movement of HMVs of less than 4-axle on the road and offering them smooth access to their destinations.
The officials said that a fresh advisory was issued ahead of the fruit season during which several thousand additional vehicles laden with fresh produce traverse the road on a daily basis.
They said that it also encouraged the field personnel to ensure that the HMVs laden with essential items like fruits, vegetables, and poultry be given prior access on this road as these items are perishable in nature.
The officials said that to ensure that there was no uncalled breakdown of any vehicles enroute, the department advised the truckers to strictly adhere to the norms of carrying the load and do away with overloading of their vehicles.
They said that it also asked them to allow only trucks that are fit in all respects to ply smoothly on this mountainous highway.
The officials said that it even told them to resort to an optimum speed that does not create hindrance for other categories of vehicles on this road, thereby ensuring that each of them reaches their destination in a duration of 8-10 hours.
They said that during the visit of Mehta-led team, the team took note of the progress of several under-construction infrastructure projects like tunnels, viaducts, and flyovers.
Officials said that the team had directed the NHAI to keep the men and machinery in readiness in the difficult stretches at Dalwas, Mehar, Cafeteria Morh and other areas prone to landslides so that the minimum carriageway for two-side movement of HMVs was maintained all the time.
Earlier, on the directions of the Chief Secretary during his visit, these new advisories were issued regarding giving of unhindered access to the vehicles having 4-axle and below.
This immediately resulted in having no halting of such vehicles on the highway especially near Qazigund, Anantnag, or Jakhani, Udhampur.
It even fructified into having the highway cleared-off hundreds of HMVs that used to be halted earlier at these places for hours together before allowing to proceed ahead.