SRINAGAR, AUGUST 25: Fruit growers have a reason to smile as the Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to issue special stickers to apple trucks for unhindered access on the National Highway.
Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today held detailed deliberations with all the stakeholders including the Highway authorities for finding ways and means to further reduce the travel time on Sgr-Jmu National Highway for the Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) ahead of the fruit season this year.
The meeting was attended by the Additional Chief Secretary, Home; Principal Secretary, PWD; Divisional Commissioner Jammu; ADGP Kashmir/Jammu; IG Traffic; RO NHAI; concerned Deputy Commissioners, and others.
During the meeting, the traffic authorities presented empirical data regarding the actual movement of LMVs and HMVs on the highway and their driving patterns on this road. To understand the traffic between the 70 km stretch of Navyug and Chenani-Nashri Tunnels for 15 days was considered.
While making his observations regarding remedial measures for the smooth flow of traffic on the road, the Chief Secretary said that HMVs lower than 3-axles should not be halted anywhere during their travel on the road. He asked to keep an eye on chronically slow-moving vehicles and enquire from each of them about the reasons behind the same. He also advised penalizing those erratically moving vehicles under the law causing inconvenience to others traveling on this road.
Dr. Mehta impressed upon the concerned highway authorities along with the Deputy Commissioners to designate no halt zones in their respective jurisdictions and strictly adhere to same under all circumstances. He asked them to take measures for improvement of the road surface near the slide-prone stretches at Dalwas, Mehad, Cafeteria Morh, and Sher-Bibi. He further instructed designating the halting areas for trucks, especially in the Ramban District where the widening of the road is still in progress.
The Chief Secretary insisted on having better coordination between the traffic and District police. He told them to provide the best gear to the traffic personnel manning the traffic on these stretches where work is going on. He asked for extra men into service for effective monitoring and management of the traffic plying on the highway.
Regarding the movement of fruit trucks from the valley the Chief Secretary stressed taking onboard the Fruit Associations while devising the traffic plan. He asked for marking the fruit-laden trucks with specially designed stickers for their identification and giving unhindered access to reach the Mandis outside. He directed the Deputy Commissioners of Valley to establish District Control Rooms in their offices to give real-time updates to the fruit growers about the road and other issues.
While making his remarks, ACS, Home, RK Goyal stressed finding out ground realities that are hindering the movement of HMVs in certain portions. He also told them to utilize alternate assets like Mughal Road and Jawahar Tunnel optimally to reduce the congestion of traffic on NH-44. He also asked for enhancing the level of enforcement especially on the critical stretches of the road.
The Principal Secretary, PWD, Shailendra Kumar observed that efforts should be made by the concerned to reduce the gap between minimum and maximum time taken by the vehicles to cross the Chenani-Banihal stretch. He also advised making vehicles move continuously without any halts and use of lean windows (between 1:00 am to 5:00 am) optimally by diverting most of the heavy vehicles to cross the 2-lane stretch during the underutilized period.
In his presentation the IG Traffic, Bhim Sen Tuti highlighted the pattern of traffic on the highway through various studies and algorithms. He presented the day-wise and seasonal behavior of traffic along with the analysis of time taken by each class and the size of the vehicle. He also dwelt upon the causal analysis of each aspect of this traffic behavior and put forth certain remedial measures.
The meeting discussed Passenger Car Unit (PCU) analysis of traffic on this road besides hourly and daily rush of traffic using Google data of previous years. The meeting also took note of the data of vehicles traversing the Navyug and Chenani-Nashri Tunnels besides examining the speed of vehicles throughout their journey between them.
It was inferred that taking measures like enhancing the time window for plying of heavy vehicles (above 4-axle) during the night and letting the rest of the traffic move continuously would greatly reduce their travel time. It was also enjoined that dedicating the infrastructure projects like 2nd tubes of the Kunfer tunnel, Chanderkot tunnel, and Ramban flyover by September would bring huge respite to all the travelers in the days to come.