In view of the ensuing fruit season in the valley Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting to review the traffic scenario on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway here.
The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary, Home; Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production; Principal Secretary, PWD; IG Traffic; Secretary, Transport; Deputy Commissioner, Ramban; Transport Commissioner, Representatives from NHAI and other concerned officers.
Jammu based officers participated in the meeting through video conferencing.
Dr Mehta impressed upon the officers to ensure that there is smooth movement of the fruit laden trucks and their passage on the National Highway is given due priority over other vehicles for their smooth travel to their destinations.
He enjoined upon the officers to complete the double laning of stretches between Banihal and Ramban and its subsequent black topping within a period of 10 days. He advised them to squeeze the travel time on this road to 6 and 8 hours for LMVs and HMVs respectively.
On the request of the Traffic Police the Chief Secretary urged the NHAI to carryout the repair works on the shooting-stone prone stretches of the road for 4 hours within a period of 5 days from coming Friday (3:00-7:00 am). He asked them to halt the traffic only during the night when traffic is very lean and minimum. He underscored the need for creating minimum obstacles for the movement of traffic during all these days.
Dr Mehta directed the traffic police to strictly maintain lane discipline on the road and take all the steps against the violators including e-Challaning. He asked them to act tough on those resorting to road side parking. He also took note of the stagnant trucks found between Malpora and Qazigund stretch of the National Highway and remarked that the same should be looked into and found solution for.
The Chief Secretary also told them to look for different scientific methods like use of GPS technology and others for better management of traffic on the roads. He asked them to procure all the road safety gear and methods for better surveillance of roads in the UT. He also instructed for wearing of body-worn cameras and use of motorcycles and interceptors by the traffic police cops on duty.
The meeting was informed that the procurement of 213 bikes (one for each police station), 110 Royal Enfield bikes, 23 cranes, 20 mobile vehicle interceptors, 16 highway patrolling vehicles has been completed and their retrofitting is going on for their customized use. It was also said that an amount of Rs 152.00 lakhs is being spent on acquiring of other traffic equipment.
It was further revealed in the meeting that in order to generate public awareness the Motor Vehicles and Traffic departments had conducted 2134 awareness camps in the previous year and 1256 camps upto August this year. The health check-up of thousands of drivers has also been carried out by these departments jointly during the past 2 years, as was apprised in the meeting.