Jammu: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today impressed upon the traffic authorities to completely do away with the halting of trucks at Nagrota and Qazigund on Jammu-Srinagar Highway and instead let them ply smoothly without putting any forced halt to their movement either way between Jammu and Srinagar.
Dr Mehta made these remarks in a meeting with different stakeholders called for reviewing the progress of construction of National Highways under Prime Minister Development Programme across the UT.
In addition to the Principal Secretary, PWD the meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, Forest; Divisional Commissioners; concerned Deputy Commissioners; Representatives from NHAI, NHIDCL, BRO, and many other concerned officers.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary stressed upon the executing agencies to complete all these road projects providing interconnectivity to different regions in the stipulated timeframe. He enjoined upon them that the significance of these roads is very high and deserves all efforts to be completed on time.
He directed the concerned authorities to strictly stick to the timeline of completing the Expressway to Akhnoor in all respects by May this year so that the travel time to reach there gets reduced to half an hour. He made out that this road is going to play a vital role in bringing this circuit on the tourism map of J&K and increase the footfall to this location considerably.
Regarding the Delhi-Katra Expressway the Chief Secretary directed for continuing the momentum of work besides meeting timelines set for completing different sub-projects. He asked them that this Road project is of national importance as it leads to the holy shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi visited by millions of pilgrims every year. He said that the work on such a prestigious project should be given due priority for completing it at the earliest.
Dr Mehta also sensitized the executing agencies about the significance of Uri-Poonch Highway. He told them that the work on this project should be taken in hand at the earliest so that it is also completed on time bringing respite to people besides providing alternate route between the two divisions of the UT.
As far as the movement of traffic on National Highway is concerned the Chief Secretary directed for ensuring its smooth movement all across the road by properly maintaining the 6 kms difficult stretch between Ramban and Banihal. He advised them to use necessary manpower and machinery efficiently besides exploring few dry days for traffic to make the travel on this road pleasant and hassle free for all times to come.
The Chief Secretary also took note of the work done on the Srinagar-Pulwama-Shopian-Kulgam Highway (NH-444). He stressed on completing the stretches near all the towns of Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama so that the road is complete before the onset of Tourism season this year. The highway is going to drastically reduce the time taken for traveling to and fro and to reach to Srinagar. He also took stock of the progress made in execution of Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri Highway, Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha- Khellani and Akhnoor-Poonch Highways and stressed on their early completion.
He directed the Deputy Commissioners to facilitate the executing agencies in performing their work smoothly. He observed that these highways are directly linked with the economic upliftment of people as the trade and commerce would also see growth by enhanced movement of people. He pointed out that tourism sector is going to be the biggest gainer by their completion.
Dr Mehta enquired from the executing agencies about the bottlenecks affecting the pace of their work. He instantly passed on directions to the concerned government departments for taking the measures to address them. He made out that both the executing agencies and different government departments should work in coordination with each other and held regular deliberations for resolving issues without wasting time. He asked them to own these significant national projects and show eagerness in seeing them completed well on time. He fixed timelines for each of the road project for its completion.