Mehta reviews construction of vital road projects

Chief Secretary Dr Arun K Mehta chairing a meeting at Srinagar.
Chief Secretary Dr Arun K Mehta chairing a meeting at Srinagar.

*Takes stock of establishment of new Medical Colleges

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, June 2: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today reviewed the status of different road projects including national highways being laid out here in the UT.
The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary, PWD; Divisional Commissioners; Commissioner Secretary, Forest; Commissioner Secretary Revenue; Secretary, PD&MD; Deputy Commissioners; MD, KPDCL; Chief Engineers of PWD, Jal Shakti, PDD; Representatives of BRO, NHIDCL and other officers of the concerned Departments.
The Chief Secretary (CS) urged the executing agencies to enshrine it as their goal to deliver all these projects on set timelines. He asked them that the erecting of crash barriers, sign boards, parapets on National Highways for the safety of travelers should be done before 15th of this month. He also advised the district administration to look into the availability of utilities like Eateries, Washrooms, etc on the National Highways for enjoyable ride over them.
Dr Mehta enquired about the status of five tunnels (T1-T5) being constructed on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway that are going to drastically reduce the travel time between these cities besides making the road more reliable. He asked them to expedite the work on these tunnels so that all of them are timely dedicated to public.
He enjoined upon them to move extra men and machinery for maintenance of this road till the works are completed. He also directed for minimizing the waiting time at toll plazas by opening all the lanes for vehicles and using updated RFID readers over there. He made it clear to all the DCs that there should be least traffic disruptions on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway with focus on clearing the route within an hour or two.
Regarding the availability of material for construction of new roads the Chief Secretary asked the concerned departments to provide online permissions for mining of minerals besides exploring the possibility of allowing them to transport the same beyond daylight hours.
The CS also directed the departments of PDD and Jal Shakti to immediately shift their utilities wherever required so that both the construction and providing of services to general public do not get affected. He also reiterated that the land acquisition process needs to be completed at an earliest. He directed both the district and divisional administration to resolve all the issues at their level and ensure the land is transferred to the departments without any further delay.
The Chief Secretary reviewed the status of roads like Jammu, Srinagar semi-ring road projects, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Highway, Shopian-Qazigund Bypass, Kathua-Basholi-BaniRoad, Srinagar-Sonamarg Road, Z-Morh tunnel project, Chenani-Sudhmahadev Road, Akhnoor-Poonch Road, Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri Road and many other internal city roads in Jammu and Srinagar cities.
Meanwhile, Chief secretary took stock of the establishment of two new medical colleges at Udhampur and Handwara (Kupwara).
Dr Mehta impressed upon the Health and Medical Education Department to work for starting of classes in these colleges from the next academic session. He asked them to explore the option of hiring the necessary infrastructure for starting the class work near the respective district hospitals.
The Chief Secretary directed the executing agencies to complete all the formalities for tendering out the civil works in next two months. He also advised the department to simultaneously initiate the process for procurement of medical equipments for these colleges simultaneously so that there is efficient utilization of available time.
The colleges would have an intake capacity of 100 MBBS seats each and would enhance the total MBBS seats substantially in the UT of J&K. Around 1612 posts of faculty, doctors, paramedics, administrative staff and others have been created by the department as per the norms of National Medical Commission for these twin colleges, the meeting was informed.
Chief Secretary also chaired a meeting of the UT Executive Committee for Disaster Management to review the requirement of funds in districts for disaster preparedness, mitigation, and management.
The UT Executive Committee approved the release of Rs. 28.56 crore through BEAMS, to the Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu divisions and the Deputy Commissioners of all Districts for providing relief on account of natural calamities, during current financial year, as per the SDRF guidelines. Besides, sanction was also accorded to the purchase of one 4X4 emergency rescue vehicles by each District Disaster Management Authority to facilitate rescue during extreme weather conditions and in far flung areas especially in hilly terrains.
To ensure transparent and accountable disbursement of relief amount among the victims of disasters and undertaking necessary disaster-prevention and mitigation measures as per norms, the Chief Secretary directed all Deputy Commissioners to adhere to SDRF and NDRF guidelines while incurring expenditure. The Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction Department was also asked to share the revised guidelines in the matter with all Divisional and District Development Commissioners.