New Delhi: In a marathon meeting held to take stock of the traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, Chief Secretary (CS) Arun Kumar Mehta Sunday impressed upon the concerned traffic authorities to clear the stranded traffic within 24 hours and certify the same at the earliest.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that the CS directed the Traffic Department to formulate a viable plan for the smooth movement of traffic on the highway in association with the fruit growers.
He asked them to ensure that the fruit-laden trucks leaving from Kashmir should reach their destinations at appropriate time without any undue delay.
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.
The CS asked them to simultaneously give the time required for the restoration of the normal traffic on this road.
He asked the traffic management authorities to augment manpower from all sources to regulate traffic efficiently.
The CS stressed enforcing lane discipline on the highway, especially on critical stretches between Banihal and Ramban.
He underscored the need of ensuring that no roadside parking was allowed except at designated parking spaces only.
Regarding seasonal migration, the CS directed the Tribal Affairs Department and Deputy Commissioners to facilitate the ‘Deras’ to move on the highway in trucks along with their family members and livestock.
He asked them to make these arrangements for their easement and better traffic management on this vital link between the capital cities.
The CS told the divisional and traffic management authorities to encourage the traffic to use Mughal Road, especially the vehicles loaded with less perishable items.
He asked them to augment manpower on the road to monitor and manage it effectively at places that were slide-prone and had less width.
Mehta directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to follow all timelines given in by the CS in his last meeting for clearance of muck from Cafeteria Morh and Mehar.
He asked them to improve the overall road surface besides blacktopping the potholed portion between Banihal and Ramban.
The CS also encouraged the NHAI to complete the vital T-5 Tunnel and the widening of the Ramsoo-Rampari-Sherbibi stretch of the road for the long-term solution of this recurring problem.
He said that all the directions should 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.
The official spokesman said that the meeting was virtually attended by the Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production; Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, and Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Secretary Transport; IG Traffic; concerned Deputy Commissioners and other senior officers from the Traffic Department and those from NHAI.