Highway Chaos: Traffic Police Cracks Down On Violators

Kashmir Highway | File Photo

6-7 Vehicles Blacklisted For Causing Traffic Jams, Fine Slapped

Srinagar- A day after a senior police officer was removed following an outcry over halting of fruit-laden trucks from Kashmir valley to the outside markets; the traffic police on Thursday cracked a whip and blacklisted several vehicles to ensure a smooth flow of traffic on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway.

SP Ramban Mohita Sharma, who was recently assigned additional charge of Traffic, National Highway told Kashmir Observer on Thursday that the blacklisted vehicles were violating traffic rules that had caused heavy jamming in the sensitive area along the National Highway.

“This drive was launched yesterday. Till now we’ve blacklisted 6-7 vehicles for creating traffic jams on the highway by violating lane discipline. These vehicles were found to be tripling, quadrupling and violating laws on the entire shooting-stone stretch. We won’t tolerate any such activity that jeopardizes time and lives of civilians. This drive will continue and anyone who is found violating laws will be dealt with strictly,” Mohita said.

It is pertinent to mention here that these vehicles have been blacklisted by Regional Transport Office (RTO) and J&K Traffic Police. Besides blacklisting vehicles, as per reports, on Thursday officials of the traffic department imposed heavy fines on vehicles that were seen parked illegally on the national Highway especially on the Banihal-Ramban stretch.

Notably, Superintendent of Traffic Police J&K Highway Shabir Ahmad Malik was on Wednesday transferred and attached with police headquarters for the highway mess that had flared outrage in Kashmir. Action against Malik had come after Chief Secretary Arun Mehta reviewed the situation that resulted in thousands of fruit laden trucks stranded on the highway that is being repaired at several points.

The unprecedented chaotic movement of trucks amid the bumper crop of apples in Kashmir was criticized by fruit growers, traders and political leaders. As per officials, the highway had witnessed frequent disruptions past week owing to shooting of stones from a hillock overlooking the arterial road at Cafeteria-Mehar sector in Ramban district.

On Monday, the fruit growers of Kashmir had also staged a demonstration in Srinagar against the alleged failure of the administration to facilitate hassle-free movement of the trucks along the highway en route to terminal markets of the country.
In a normal season, the apple production in Kashmir is 17 metric tons but this year due to abundant rainfall, there has been a bumper crop which is expected to cross 21 metric ton.

Owing to the bumper crop this time, Chief Secretary Arun Mehta has stressed on putting in place a robust communication and information mechanism by the Traffic Police so as to regulate traffic at critical points like Qazigund-Banihal, Banihal Market, Sherbibi, Panthayal, Mehar, and so on.

The traffic management authorities have also been asked to augment manpower from all sources to regulate traffic in an optimal manner, besides enforcing lane discipline on the critical stretches between Ramban and Banihal. It has also been decided that suitable recommendations of the joint study by CBRI, Roorkee and IIT, Jammu, be sought for measures to be undertaken for stabilizing traffic flow on Cafeteria-Mehar section of NH-44.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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