Over 5K trucks cleared, smooth traffic on Jmu-Sgr NH, says govt

TNN Bureau. Updated: 9/28/2022 12:05:37 PM Front Page

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday said that traffic on Jammu- Srinagar national highway is normal and all Jammu bound trucks cleared.
“1250 vehicles were sent through Mughal Road to Jammu side while more than 4000 trucks were sent through NH 44 yesterday,” Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole said.
Following outrage over stranding of fruit-laden trucks on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway for days together, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary A K Mehta stressed on putting in place a robust mechanism to regulate traffic of heavy motor vehicles (HMV) at critical points on the vital stretch.
Mehta was speaking at a meeting convened here to take stock of the traffic movement on the 270-kilometre highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, an official spokesman said.
He said the meeting was attended by senior officers from divisional and district administrations, traffic department, police and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday warned that she, along with drivers of fruit-laden trucks, will block the Srinagar-Jammu national highway if the vehicles are not allowed a smooth passage.
NC president Farooq Abdullah said the present dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir has "miserably failed" in ensuring hassle-free movement of fruit-laden trucks, which will have a "devastating, crippling effect" on the UT's economy.
He made the remark while interacting with the delegation that called on him at his residence here.
Fruit growers of Kashmir on Monday held a demonstration here against the alleged stopping of apple-laden trucks by authorities at various places along the national highway en route to terminal markets of the country.
The J-K administration has dismissed the allegations, saying the trucks were halted due to natural causes.
The traffic on the highway was disrupted over the past one week due to shooting of stones from a hillock overlooking the highway at Cafeteria-Mehar in Ramban district. The meeting decided that a joint study team of Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jammu be taken to the shooting stone zone for measures to be undertaken for the stabilising of this (Cafeteria-Mehar) section, the spokesman said.
The recommendations of the joint study team will be implemented by the NHAI in a speedy manner so that the travel time on the highway gets reduced considerably, he said.
Addressing the meeting, Mehta stressed on putting in place a robust communication and information mechanism by traffic police so as to regulate heavy motor vehicles' (HMVs) traffic at critical points like Qazigund-Banihal, Banihal market, Sherbibi, Panthayal and Mehar.
He also directed that the traffic department shall issue a daily information bulletin for stakeholders mentioning travel time taken by HMVs from Qazigund to Jakhani, loss of time due to shooting stones at Cafeteria Morh- Mehar and number of vehicles waiting to leave for Jammu.
The traffic management authorities were asked to augment manpower requirements from all sources to regulate traffic in an optimal manner, besides enforcing lane discipline in the critical stretches between Ramban and Banihal, the spokesman said.
For seasonal migration, he said, the tribal affairs department and deputy commissioners were directed to ensure that no "dera"(nomadic family) is allowed to move on the highway, especially between Qazigund and Ramban, and they are provided with suitable conveyance to carry their cattle and family members.
The district administrations concerned were asked to ensure that unattended cattle do not wander on the highway, the spokesman added.
In order to ensure hassle-free movement, the meeting decided that the down convoy of HMVs may be permitted from 11 am from Qazigund up till 9 pm on alternate days, he said.
The drivers should appropriately be made aware for not leaving their place of unloading and parking their vehicles anywhere on the highway, the spokesman said.
During the meeting, the divisional administration Kashmir was asked to encourage HMVs to use Mughal Road, an alternate road connecting Poonch and Rajouri districts in Jammu region with south Kashmir's Shopian, and Additional Director General of Police, Jammu, Mukesh Singh was simultaneously asked to ensure better management of Poshana checkpoint to expedite checking of vehicles at the spot, he said.

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