Srinagar: What else can be more tiring than waiting and waiting for hours together doing nothing. It is no assumption or imagination but was the plight of truckers only a week back on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway. These goods carriers were halted by the traffic authorities both during their up or down movement for hours or sometimes days together as a measure to manage the traffic better on this mountainous road.
Then what could be termed as a greatest relief measure for all the truckers traversing the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on routine basis than to allow them ply freely with no more halts in-between the two capitals. These drivers can’t be more happy than to use this road without any undue interruptions. They are fortunate to see the end of that tiring waiting period which they were made to do on the name of traffic management.
All this happened when recently a team led by the Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta took a holistic review of this road in-person upto Ramban from Srinagar and directed the concerned not to enforce any manual halts on this highway for HMVs. This resulted in issuance of fresh advisory by the traffic department ordering no hindrance on the movement of HMVs of less than 4-axle on the road and offering them smooth access to their destinations.
The fresh advisory was issued ahead of the fruit season during which several thousand additional vehicles laden with fresh produce traverse this road on daily basis. It also encouraged the field personnel to ensure that the HMVs laden with essential items like fruits, vegetables and poultry to be given prior access on this road as these items are perishable in nature.
To ensure that there are no uncalled breakdown of any vehicle enroute the department advised the truckers to strictly adhere to the norms of carrying the load and do away with the overloading of their vehicles. It also asked them to allow only trucks that are fit in all respects to ply smoothly on this mountainous highway. It even told them to resort to an optimum speed that do not create hindrance for other categories of vehicles on this road thereby ensuring that each of them reaches to its destination in a duration of 8-10 hours only.
During that visit the team had taken note of the progress of several under-construction infrastructure projects like tunnels, viaducts and flyovers. Further it had directed the NHAI to keep the men and machinery in readiness in the difficult stretches at Dalwas, Mehad, Cafeteria Morh and other areas prone to landslides so that the minimum carriage way for two side movement of HMVs is maintained all the time.
Earlier on the directions of the Chief Secretary during his visit these new advisories were issued regarding giving of unhindered access to the vehicles having 4-axle and below. This immediately resulted in having no halting of such vehicles on the highway especially near Qazigund (Anantnag) or Jakhani (Udhampur). It even fructified into having the highway cleared-off of the hundreds of HMVs that used to be halted earlier at these places for hours together before allowing to proceed ahead.
Now if we have a fresh look of the data of the vehicles that have plied on this road from the last few days the story is different. It shows that 11616 HMVs including fruit, vegetable and poultry trucks were given free access on this highway from 28th to 30th of August.
While chiseling it further it details out that on 30th of August around 5386 HMVs traversed this highway from both sides including 3281 Trucks, 1138 Oil Tankers, 141 Gas Tankers, 654 fruit trucks, 69 vegetable laden trucks, 85 Poultry, 181 Food grain (FCI) trucks and 26 Sheep trucks.
It is also noteworthy to mention here that it also entails from this data that from the last 3 days 7427 goods trucks, 1041 fruit trucks, 277 vegetable trucks, 181 Food grain (FCI) trucks, 85 Poultry and 26 Sheep trucks including 255 buses crossed this highway from both sides. It further came out that these vehicles reached their destinations in the set timeframe of 8-10 hours facing least disruptions enroute during their travel on this treacherous road.