Srinagar: Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta Thursday took a review meeting with senior functionaries of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Government of J&K to review the condition of road connectivity along the NH-44 from Jammu to Kathuaand to deliberate upon immediate steps required for improving the road condition to make the journey of commuters comfortable.
The review meeting was attended by Chairperson, NHAI, Sh. Santosh Kumar Yadav, Principal Secretary PW(R&B) Department, Sh. Shailendra Kumar, ADGP Jammu, Sh. Mukesh Singh, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sh. Ramesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioners, Samba/Kathua, Regional Officer, NHAI and other senior officers of UT and NHAI.
At the outset, the Chairperson, NHAI briefed all present regarding the ongoing works on the National Highway-44, the current status of road connectivity from Jammu to Kathua, efforts being made to reduce the travel time from Jammu to Kathua and to restore the Tarnah Bridge.
Thereafter, the Chief Secretary sought details of the stretches of the NH-44 which were majorly affected due to monsoon as also the ongoing works and reviewed the actions being taken to ease the travel of the commuters on these stretches.
On the issue of Tarnah Bridge, it was acknowledged that the break-down of the bridge was natural calamity which has increased the travel time substantially. The Chief Secretary was assured by NHAI that work to restore the bridge was going on war-footing basis despite the challenges being posed by the frequent flash-floods.
In this regard, the Chief Secretary directed NHAI to ensure that the causeway is ready for LMV traffic within a week’s time. On the issue of poor condition of road being reported along certain stretches, the Chief Secretary asked NHAI to ensure that all service roads are black-topped, made pot-hole free within a week’s time so as to provide smooth alternate connectivity to the commuters in view of the ongoing works.
On the issue of Thandikhui toll plaza, the NHAI assured that facility of monthly passes at Rs 300 to commuters residing within 20 kms of toll plaza and paid commercial monthly passes for Rs 2700 allowing for 50 trips shall be provided to everyone in a hassle free manner for the convenience of the public in general.
The Chief Secretary further directed Divisional Commissioner, RO (NHAI) and Deputy Commissioner(s) concerned to undertake a joint visit along the NH-44 tomorrow to assess the present condition of the road connectivity along the NH-44 from Jammu to Lakhanpur and suggest immediate necessary measures to alleviate the issues being faced by the commuters and to reduce the travel time. Based on the assessment made during the visit, the matter shall again be reviewed tomorrow.