CS holds deliberations with stakeholders to reduce travel time of HMVs on NH-44

CS chairing a meeting on Friday.
CS chairing a meeting on Friday.

*Fruit trucks to be marked with special stickers for unhindered access

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 25: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today held detailed deliberations with all the stakeholders including the highway authorities for finding ways and means to further reduce the travel time on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for the Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) ahead of the fruit season this year.
The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary, Home; Principal Secretary, PWD; Divisional Commissioner Jammu; ADGP Kashmir/ Jammu; IG Traffic; RO NHAI; concerned Deputy Commissioners and others.
During the meeting, the traffic authorities presented empirical data regarding the actual movement of LMVs and HMVs on the highway and their driving patterns on this road. For the purpose of understanding the traffic between 70 Kms stretch of Navyug and Chenani-Nashri Tunnels for a period of 15 days was considered.
While making his observations regarding remedial measures for smooth flow of traffic on the road, the Chief Secretary said that HMVs lower than 3-axles should not be halted anywhere during its travel on the road. He asked for keeping an eye on chronically slow moving vehicles and enquire from each of them about the reasons behind the same. He also advised for penalizing those erratically moving vehicles under law causing inconvenience to others traveling on this road.
Dr Mehta impressed upon the concerned highway authorities along with the Deputy Commissioners to designate no halt zones in their respective jurisdictions and strictly adhere to same under all circumstances. He asked them to take measures for improvement of the road surface near the slide-prone stretches at Dalwas, Mehad, Cafeteria Morh and Sher-Bibi. He further instructed for designating the halting areas for trucks especially in the Ramban District where the widening of road is still in progress.
Regarding the movement of fruit trucks from valley, the Chief Secretary stressed on taking onboard the Fruit Associations while devising the traffic plan. He asked for marking the fruit laden trucks with specially designed stickers for their identification and giving unhindered access to reach the Mandis outside. He directed the Deputy Commissioners of valley to establish District Control Rooms in their offices for giving real time updates to the fruit growers about the road and other issues.
While making his remarks the ACS, Home, RK Goyal stressed on finding out ground realities which are hindering the movement of HMVs in certain portions. He also told them to utilize the alternate assets like Mughal Road and Jawahar tunnel optimally to reduce congestion of traffic on NH-44. He also asked for enhancing the level of enforcement especially on the critical stretches of the road.
The Principal Secretary, PWD, Shailendra Kumar observed that efforts should be made by the concerned to reduce the gap between minimum and maximum time taken by the vehicles to cross the Chenani-Banihal stretch. He also advised for making vehicles to move continuously without any halts and use of lean window (between 1:00 am to 5:00 am) optimally by diverting most of the heavy vehicles to cross the 2-lane stretch during the underutilized time period.
In his presentation the IG Traffic, Bhim Sen Tuti highlighted the pattern of traffic on the highway through various studies and algorithms. He presented the day wise and seasonal behavior of traffic along with the analysis of time taken by each class and size of vehicle. He also dwelt upon the causal analysis of each aspect of this traffic behavior and put forth certain remedial measures also.
It was inferred that by taking measures like enhancing the time window for plying of heavy vehicles (above 4-axle) during night and letting the rest of the traffic to move continuously would greatly reduce their travel time. It was also enjoined that by dedicating the infrastructure projects like 2nd tubes of Kunfer tunnel, Chanderkot tunnel and Ramban flyover by the month of September would bring huge respite to all the travelers in the days to come.