CS reviews movement of traffic, condition of Jammu- Srinagar NH

Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta chairing a meeting on Wednesday.
Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta chairing a meeting on Wednesday.

*Directs Divisional administration for check on prices of commodities

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, July 19: After heavy rains and inclement weather in the Jammu Division, Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today took stock of the condition of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway for smooth movement of traffic on the highway.
The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, PWD; Divisional Commissioner Kashmir/Jammu; IG Traffic; concerned Deputy Commissioners; SP Traffic, National Highway and RO, NHAI besides other concerned officers.
The Chief Secretary urged upon the officers to ensure smooth movement of traffic on the highway. He enquired from them about the status of the implementation of previous directions issued regarding disallowing of overloaded vehicles to ply on this road.
Dr Mehta took cognizance of the issues including improving the gradient of the road at many places between Ramban and Banihal, removal of muck, widening of carriageway at identified spots, designating the truck holding areas, and completing the 2nd tube of Ramban flyover and progress on Banihal bypass.
He underscored the need of taking strict action against the chronically slow moving vehicles. He asked them to put a check on the overloading in trucks and make sure that no such vehicle is allowed to move ahead thereby creating hiccups for others. He also directed for ensuring that there is no compromise on lane discipline and road side parking of vehicles by traffic authorities.
The Chief Secretary emphasised on the fact that only 60 kms of the road is twon lane out of more than 300 kms and therefore should not become a major bottleneck for smooth management of traffic. He also asked for management of traffic in Banihal Market and strict implementation of lane discipline there.
Dr Mehta also enquired about the condition of road from each Deputy Commissioner. He impressed upon them that the weather vagaries should not let the road get closed except for few hours till it is cleared and should be thrown open for traffic expeditiously. He stressed on the executing agencies to handover the 2nd tube of the Ramban flyover by 15th of August and Banihal bypass by the end of this year as committed earlier.
The Chief Secretary was assured by the traffic and NHAI that after the implementation of all these instructions the traffic on the road would largely be smooth and congestion free. They further assured him that the men and machinery has been kept ready at all the critical stretches of the highway so that there is no undue traffic halt.
The Chief Secretary took this occasion to impress upon the Divisional Administration to keep check on the rates of essential commodities. He directed for ensuring their availability as well in the market. He told them to ensure that each shop displays the rate list of commodities so that anybody resorting to overcharging is dealt as per the law.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary held deliberations about the welfare of transgenders of the UT so that they too become integral part of the society and get their share of rights and opportunities.
The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary, Home; Principal Secretary, Finance; Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare; Secretary, Health; Representative of the transgender community besides other concerned officers.
On the occasion, the Chief Secretary gave a patient hearing to the demands put forth by the representative of the community. He told them that the administration is committed to provide every possible assistance to the persons belonging to the community to enable them to become valuable member of the society.
Dr Mehta directed the concerned departments to sensitize their staff towards the special needs of such persons so that they are able to avail all the services smoothly. He advised them to saturate the benefits under self employment, health and other benefits among all the persons belonging to this third gender of the population.
He said that every willing person of the community should be encouraged to come forward and avail the welfare measures. He asked them to frame a list of persons desirous of taking up different enterprises so that administration would help them to secure them in a hassle-free manner.
The Chief Secretary asked them to take part in the social and economic programmes of government. He asked them to participate in PRI activities as well.
It was given out during the meeting that the total population of this gender in the UT is more than 4000 souls. It was said that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”, which includes sub scheme -‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons also.