17 points identified for urgent repairs along Sgr-Jmu highway

Banihal/Jammu: At least 17 vulnerable points have been identified for urgent repairs along the strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway to ensure smooth flow of traffic, with focus on the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, a senior official said on Wednesday. A high-level team of officers on Tuesday inspected the 270-km national highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, to identify the bottlenecks hampering traffic movement amid the ongoing four-laning project.

”The main purpose behind the visit was to inspect the vulnerable points (along the 56-km stretch) between Nashri to Banihal, which needs urgent repairs ahead of the yatra,” Deputy Commissioner Ramban Baseer-ul-Haq Choudhary said.

The inspection team, which included the local police, deputy inspector general (DIG), traffic police and senior officers of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), also took stock of the traffic arrangements in Banihal town and intake capacity of ‘yatri niwas’ at Lamber. The 52-day annual pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas is scheduled to start on June 29 and conclude on August 19.

”At least 17 critical spots have been identified between Nashri and Banihal for urgent repairs, while it was also decided to macademize the Banihal market road. The work will be completed within a week followed by a dry run so that the pilgrims, tourists and commuters have a smooth journey,” the deputy commissioner said.

A majority of the four-lane construction work that started in 2016 on the highway has been completed but there are still some tunnels, bypasses and flyovers, especially in the Ramban district, where the work is in progress.

The deputy commissioner said the security of the pilgrim convoys was also discussed, while it was also decided to enhance the capacity of the ‘yatri niwas’ at Lamber and activate all facilities for short-stay of pilgrims, tourists and commuters, in case of road closure.

The entire stretch in the Ramban and Banihal sector is prone to landslides, which leads to disruptions on the highway during monsoon season besides the movement of nomads in search of greener pastures for their livestock.


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