Keeping the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway in a good shape for the smooth vehicular traffic movement is always important. But it becomes more important during winter months when the highway gets frequently blocked due to snowfall and landslides.
The blockade results in disruption in travel on the road and also affects the supply of essential commodities and other food items to Kashmir from outside. Traffic management on the highway is another aspect, which has to be taken care of.
With increasing traffic rush, this management seemingly becomes challenging with the passage of time. Sometimes there is chaos and confusion.
This has to be avoided by making effective strategies and implementing those with better understanding and coordination. At times lack of coordination at various levels complicates the problems.
Those travelling on the road or transporting essential commodities. or fruits, should not be made to feel that they are made to suffer by unnecessary halting. Status of road condition should be given wider coverage well in advance, so that people plan their travel on the highway accordingly.
Any communication gap in this direction leads to serious problems. Large number of people get stranded on the highway under unfavourable weather conditions due to road blockade sometime.
The travellers too need to cooperate with the authorities for smooth and safe travel. Maintenance of the road during harsh weather conditions becomes challenging and those doing it are doing a commendable job.
There is always scope for further improvement. Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, during a recent meeting gave some important directions to the concerned authorities. He asked them to improve the overall road surface of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway so that travel time is reduced to maximum of eight hours.
According to reports, the Chief Secretary took notice of the repeated delays made by the executing agencies in completing the T3 and T5 tunnels on the highway. He directed them to complete the both without any further delay as these would be pivotal in making the travel easy on the highway.
Dr Mehta’s direction to reduce the response time for clearing up traffic snarls on the highway caused by vehicles’ breakdown or accidents, is of big importance.
Daily reports by the authorities about the trucks laid off on the highway and the halting time will bring transparency in such moves and help in addressing the grievances of the truckers.