Ensure highway remains open through winters: CS to NHAI

Reviews PMDP projects, urges completion of roads within set timelines

Jammu: Chief Secretary on Tuesday held a meeting to review the progress of major road projects under Prime Minister’s Development Package.

Administrative Secretaries of Power Development, Public works (R&B), Mining, Forest, Planning, Development & Monitoring, Revenue, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners, besides senior officers from the executing agencies including Regional Officer, NHAI, Executive Director (P) NHIDCL, Chief Engineer Project Sampark and Chief Engineer, BEACON attended the meeting.

Giving details, Administrative Secretary informed that the Semi Ring Road Jammu project is going on smoothly and the Mining department has resolved the issues regarding accord of STPs to the executing agency.

It was further informed while NHAI needs another STP, the issue of imposition of penalty on the contractor for use of minor minerals illegally is under consideration of the committee constituted by the Mining department and is expected to be resolved shortly.

The CS directed the Mining department to provide the requisite STP to NHAI and address the issue of imposition of penalty on contractor within a week.

It was informed that crash barriers have been erected on 14.5 km road stretch on Ramban Banihal road and 6 cranes have been given to DistrictAdministration,Ramban for efficiently managing disruptionson the highway due to accidents, vehicular failure leading to traffic snarl ups.

RO, NHAI informed that crash barriers at Digdole road may be replaced with parapets in view of the inability of the crash barriers to withstand frequent hits from the vehicles, thereby, increasing the risks of accidents.

He further informed that viaducts have been proposed at the locations vulnerable to landslides.

The Chief Secretary directed NHAI to urgently complete the maintenance works in Ramban-Banihal section, including erection of Parapets at the vulnerable places.

Dr Mehta directed NHAI to ensure that highway remains open through the winters while further adding that 8 washrooms/toilet blocks should be constructed along the highway by November 15th.

He also directed that wayside amenities should be developed all along the highway and made available to the commuters; making commuting a pleasurable experience for the travellers on the highway.

The Chief Secretary also directed NHAI to put in signages along the roadway informing the commuters about the approaching/ nearby toilet blocks.

The Chief Secretary appreciated NHAI for setting up a parking space for 500 vehicles at Ramban for use by the stranded vehicles during the time of closure of highway.

Dr Mehta took note of the delay the commuters are facing at the toll plazas enroute the highway, especially at Ban Nagrota toll plaza, and directed the NHAI to reduce waiting time at the toll plazas, especially for the commuters who are Fastag subscribers.

It was informed that out of 10 structures to be removed at the Udhampur Ramban road, 5 structures have been removed and that the remaining structures shall be removed shortly.

The Chief Secretary directed the department to remove all the structures and hand over the possession to the executing agency within a week.

Administrative Secretary PWD informed that MoRTH has approved the Shopian bypass proposal and that demarcation of 21 hectares of land for the project shall be jointly done by the Revenue department with the consultant.

The Chief Secretary directed that demarcation of the land for Shopian bypass should be finalised by 10th December.

It was informed that out of Rs 974 cr compensation payments to be made for acquiring land for Semi Ring Road Srinagar project, Rs 602 cr stand paid while Rs 372 cr remain to be disbursed to the beneficiaries.

Giving details of the causes holding up the progress of the project, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir informed that land owners of the two villages falling in the alignment of the road have gone to court, besides NoC is also pending from the Custodian department.

The Chief Secretary directed Divisional Commissioner to personally monitor the project and ensure that all clearances are secured well on time.

Expressing concern at the delay in making Gadoora bridge functional, Dr Mehta directed the executive agency to complete the Gadoora bridge on Srinagar-Shopian-Qazigund Road and make it functional by 1stFebruary,2022.

Administrative Secretary, R&B informed that Noorjehan bridge has not been made functional as the issues of utility shifting and rehabilitation of shopkeepers have remained addressed thus far.

The Chief Secretary directed Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir to address the issues on priority in consultation with R&B department.

Dr Mehta directed R&B department to urgently submit a proposal for upgradation of Kathua-Basohli-Bani-Doda road (170kms), Bhaderwah- Chamba road (HP) ( 132 kms) and Dayalachak-Madanpur-Basohli road (118 kms) to Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways for approval so that tourism potential of Bani-Basohli-Sarthal areas is optimally leveraged.

The Chief Secretary emphasised the pressing need to decongest the Srinagar city by connecting NH 44 at Lasjan with NH 1 at Ganderbal via Rajbagh and directed the department to urgently initiate the proposal.

Dr Mehta directed the R&B department to take up upgradation and widening of Khanayar- Zadibal-Pandach road and Syed Mirak Shah road in Srinagar city for decongestion of traffic on Boulevard road.

The Chief Secretary directed Chief Engineer BEACON to complete the Wayil bridge by June, 2022

Dr Mehta also reviewed the Akhnoor-Poonch national highway and Delhi- Katra-Amritsar expressway and directed the department to hold the executing agencies to the set timelines while further adding that all interdepartmental/interagency issues may be resolved on priority so as to ensure that works on these projects are not delayed / held up.

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