October 7, 2020

Govt directs NHAI to submit winter traffic mgmt plan to keep Kashmir highway open

Jammu: The J&K administration Monday directed the National Highways Authority of India to submit a traffic management plan of agencies to ensure a hassle-free movement on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway during the ensuing winter season.
It asked the NHAI to detail an action plan on how the construction agencies will clear landslides, snow and deal with any other emergency to make sure the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country remains open during the coming winter.
The direction was passed by Public Works Department Principal Secretary Shailender Kumar after conducting an extensive tour of Ramban district and inspecting the pace of work on the ongoing four-laning project of the highway from Nashri to Banihal stretch, besides reviewing the winter traffic management plan, an official spokesman said.
Kumar directed construction companies to submit the detail of planned maintenance activity at all vulnerable spots including Nashri, Dhalwas, Chanderkot, Mehar, Seri, Marog, Monkey Morh, Panthyal and Hingni along with the list of machinery stationed and manpower deployed there to clear landslides and snow.
The 270-km road witnesses frequent traffic disruptions during winter due to landslides and avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall and rains.
Kumar also directed the NHAI to expedite the pace of construction work, the spokesman said.
The Principal Secretary also reviewed section wise progress on the four-laning of the highway including the Nashri-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal sections.
During a meeting which was attended by senior officers of NHAI among others, the spokesman said traffic management and NH-44 alignment issues were also discussed in detail.
Keeping in view decreasing temperature in mountainous areas, agencies were directed to start blacktopping from Jawahar tunnel towards Makerkote on Banihal stretch while Police and district administration was directed to ensure implementation of decisions taken in the meeting and take legal action against the contractor (or) agencies, which violate terms and conditions set by the government, the spokesman said.
Kumar also directed the district administration to complete assessment of damaged houses at Dhalwas following a landslide in the recent past.

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