SRINAGAR, June 2: Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today examined the condition of several road projects in the UT, including national roads.
The Principal Secretary, PWD; Divisional Commissioners; Commissioner Secretary, Forest; Commissioner Secretary, Revenue; Secretary, PD&MD; Deputy Commissioners; MD, KPDCL; Chief Engineers of PWD, Jal Shakti, PDD; Representatives of BRO, NHIDCL; and other officers from the concerned Departments were present at the meeting.
The Chief Secretary (CS) asked the executing agencies to make completing all of these projects on time a priority. He requested that crash barriers, notice boards, and parapets be installed on National Highways for the safety of travellers by the 15th of this month. He also recommended the district administration to investigate the availability of amenities such as restaurants, restrooms, and other amenities on the National Highways in order to have a pleasant journey along them.
Dr. Mehta inquired on the status of five tunnels (T1-T5) being built on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, which will significantly reduce travel time between the two cities while also improving road reliability. He requested that they speed up the work on these tunnels so that they can all be opened to the public on time.
He ordered them to send in more personnel and machinery to keep the road in good repair until the work was finished. He also requested that all toll lanes be opened for vehicles and that updated RFID readers be used there to reduce toll plaza wait times. He made it clear to all the DCs that traffic interruptions on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway should be kept to a minimum, with the goal of clearing the route in an hour or two.
Involved about the lack of material for the construction of new roads, the Chief Secretary urged the concerned departments to offer online authorization for mineral mining, as well as investigate the potential of permitting them to transport the minerals outside of daytime hours.
The CS also ordered the PDD and Jal Shakti departments to move their utilities as soon as possible wherever they are needed, so that construction and public service provision are not disrupted. He also emphasised the importance of completing the land acquisition procedure as soon as possible. He urged the district and divisional administrations to resolve all concerns at their respective levels and guarantee that the land is delivered to the departments as soon as possible.
The Chief Secretary reviewed the status of roads in Jammu and Srinagar, including the semi-ring road projects, the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Highway, the Shopian-Qazigund Bypass, Kathua-Basholi-Bani Road, Srinagar-Sonamarg Road, the Z-Morh tunnel project, Chenani-Sudhmahadev Road, Akhnoor-Poonch Road, Srinagar
In the meantime, the Chief Secretary reviewed the opening of two new medical colleges in Udhampur and Handwara (Kupwara).
Dr. Mehta urged the Health and Medical Education Department to work to ensure that classes in these colleges begin in the coming academic year. He requested them to look into the possibility of employing the necessary infrastructure in order to begin class work near the district hospitals.
The executing agencies have been asked by the Chief Secretary to fulfil all requirements for contracting out civil works within the next two months. He also encouraged the department to start the process of procuring medical equipment for these colleges at the same time, in order to make the best use of the time available.
The institutions would each have a capacity of 100 MBBS seats, significantly increasing the overall number of MBBS seats in the UT of J&K. According to the meeting, the department has created around 1612 positions for faculty, doctors, paramedics, administrative personnel, and others in accordance with the National Medical Commission’s guidelines for these twin institutions.
In addition, the Chief Secretary presided over a meeting of the UT Executive Committee for Disaster Administration, which looked at the need for money in districts for disaster preparedness, mitigation, and management.
According to the SDRF guidelines, the UT Executive Committee approved the release of Rs. 28.56 crore through BEAMS to the Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu divisions, as well as the Deputy Commissioners of all Districts, for providing relief on account of natural calamities during the current fiscal year. Furthermore, each District Disaster Management Authority was given permission to purchase one 4X4 emergency rescue vehicle to help with rescue during extreme weather and in remote places, particularly in hilly terrains.
The Chief Secretary urged all Deputy Commissioners to follow SDRF and NDRF rules when incurring expenditure to ensure transparent and accountable dispensing of relief funds to disaster victims and to take appropriate disaster-prevention and mitigation measures as per norms. All Divisional and District Development Commissioners were also asked to receive the amended instructions from the Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Department.
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