JAMMU: Governor N. N. Vohra has directed all the concerned State Government Departments and Agencies to take tome-bound actions for ensuring the timely completion of all the major roads and ongoing National Highway projects. The Governor was reviewing all matters connected with National Highways, BRO Roads and Mughal Road in a meeting held today at Civil Secretariat, Jammu.
The Governor was informed that a total of 10 major roads covering a length of 2264 kilometers have been declared as National Highways in the State. These include the Jammu-Srinagar, Batote-Kishtwar-Simthan, Uri-Srinagar and Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch National Highways.
He was informed that all the 6 stretches on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway have been allotted and work has already commenced in every sector and, side by side the 4-laning of the Parimpora-Narbal road on the Uri-Srinagar Highway is also in progress, while the 4 laning of the Jammu-Akhnoor Sector is likely to start soon. Work on Z-Morh Tunnel to promote all weather connectivity with Sonamarg and beyond has also started and work on the Zojila Tunnel project is likely to start soon. The Governor inquired about the various other projects for providing all weather connectivity to other regions of the State, particularly the Bani-Bhaderwah and Padum-Darcha road projects. He was informed that the work on a Preliminary Project Report (PPR) for construction of an 8-kilometer long tunnel on the Mughal Road is already in progress, while a proposal for tunnels between Bandipora and Gurez and Singhpora and Vailoo have also been forwarded for the Government of Indias approval.
After discussion regarding the existing arrangements the Governor directed that with a view to have an assured arrangement for ensuring effective coordination with various line departments of the State Government on all issues pertaining to land acquisition, removal of all encroachments, re-location of utilities, forest clearances, availability of water, power etc. the Secretary PWD shall be the Nodal Officer for securing regular progress reports from all State Government, BRO, NHAI etc. implementing agencies and ensuring effective co-ordination, resolution of all impediments etc.
The Governor stressed the need for an umbrella arrangement for the timely and regular maintenance of National Highways by the various concerned agencies. He directed that regular reviews should be carried-out by collecting and collating information from all the implementing Agencies. It was decided that Secretary PWD will be responsible for ensuring that the requisite framework, along with appropriate software, is put in place for ensuring timely reports and remedial actions being taken in an institutionalized manner.
The Governor expressed serious concern over the fast increasing encroachments along the National Highways and the failure of the concerned Highway Administrators to discharge their respective legal responsibilities under the J&K Ribbon Development Act and the Highway Administration Act, 2002. Governor directed the Chief Secretary to hold a separate meeting to review the entire gamut of issues relating to timely detection, prevention and removal of encroachments along the National Highways, including the problems which arise from undecided issues relating to the acquisition of land, failure of full payments of compensation etc. He directed that a time bound action plan should be drawn-up for undertaking a drive to remove all encroachments along the National Highways in the State. Also, no fresh encroachment should be allowed and every encroacher should be strictly dealt with. Governor also directed the Regional Director, National Highways Authority of India, to ensure time-bound action to repair and restore the broken/ removed railing along both sides of the Pathankot-Jammu Highway and to have wild growth removed from the central verge which gave a very ugly look.
With a view to ensuring timely availability of aggregates from the nearest located quarries, the Governor directed Commissioner, Industries & Commerce to ensure urgent formulation of a Mining Plan for obtaining the requisite environmental clearance to meet the requirements of each of the various Road/ Highway construction agencies. The Governor also directed the establishment of a single window system by the Industries & Commerce Department for grant of clearances by the various concerned authorities. The Governor directed the Secretary Industries & Commerce to convene an urgent meeting with all concerned Agencies to resolve the existing and arising issues while ensuring that there is no compromise in regard to environmental concerns.
The Governor, who was informed that the work of Mughal Road shall be completed by 31st March, 2016, asked the Secretary PWD to provide requisite wayside amenities along this Road after identifying suitable spots and obtaining requisite clearances from the Forest Department. The Governor also directed the Regional Director, NHAI, to take urgent action for developing Lay Overs and way side amenities along all National Highways. He also stressed the urgent need to undertake plantation of suitable varieties along all the Roads and Highways and directed Principal Secretary Forests to urgently convene a meeting with all concerned Agencies to workout an Action Plan for this purpose.
The meeting in which over 36 officers participated was attended by Shri Parvez Dewan, Advisor to Governor; Chief Secretary; Financial Commissioner, Planning & Development; all concerned Administrative Secretaries; Chief Engineers of BRO, PWD and officers of MoRTH and NHAI and NHIDCL.
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