Srinagar – Leh National Highway to be opened for regulated traffic from 28 Feb: Div Com Kashmir

Chairs separate meeting to review upgradation of Sgr Airport

Srinagar, Feb 24: The Divisional Commissioner (Div Com) Kashmir, P K Pole today convened a meeting of officers to review status of Srinagar- Sonamarg- Gumri (SSG) road scheduled to be thrown open for civilian traffic from 28 February, 2021.

On 28 February, the road is to be flagged off by the Lieutenant Governor of UT of Ladakh for traffic movement.

Among others, Chief Engineer, MED, SSP Traffic Rural were present in the meeting.

The Divisional Commissioner Ladakh, Saugat Biswas, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Deputy Commissioner Kargil, Chief Engineer BRO, officials from NIDCL and SSPs of district Ganderbal and Kargil joined the meeting through Video Conferencing.

On the occasion, the CE, BRO briefed the Div Com about the status of road clearance on National Highway- 1.

It was given out that the road stands cleared for one way traffic, however in view of weather advisory the road shall be opened for civilian traffic from 28, February.

The meeting was informed that several advisories need to be issued in view of slippery road condition and avalanche warnings including allowing plying of vehicles with chains both HMVs and LMVs and one way traffic at Zojilla pass to avoid accidents.

The Div Com said that to prevent any exigency both of these advisories shall be put in place besides there shall be proper timing to allow movement of vehicles from Sonmarg and Minamarg. The cut off time for vehicles from Sonmarg side shall be 10 am and from Minamarg, the cut off time for vehicles has been proposed as 11 am, he added.

To ensure mobile connectivity for travellers along the highway in case of any emergency, Div Com directed the BRO to provide logistic support to Bsnl and Jio networks to resume the cellular connectivity.

He also directed the CE, BRO to provide different kinds assistance including accomodation, food, petrol etc to the travellers during emergency along the highway. Besides, he directed the DC Kargil, and CE, MED to place recovery vans on road as per the past practice.

The Div Com directed for close coordination among the Dy. SPs and Collectors on both sides of the pass to ensure hassle free movement of vehicles.

The Div Com, Ladakh during the meeting asked the concerned functionaries that the road clearance be conducted in coordination with telecom authorities to avoid disruption of telecommunication and internet services.

He also instructed the concerned to allow smooth movement of service vehicles of telecoms along the highway.

Meanwhile, the DC Ganderbal informed the chair that all facilities for tomorrow’s opening of Sonmarg tourist destination for tourists have been put in place including restoration of power, water and telecommunication services besides opening of hotels etc.

Later, the Div Com Kashmir chaired a separate meeting of officers to review upgradation of Srinagar Airport from Category Ist to Category 2nd and 3rd.

The meeting was attended by Director Airport, Commandants of CISF and CRPF besides, Superintending Engineers of PWD and PHE.

The Deputy Commissioner, Budgam attended the meeting via video conferencing.

The meeting discussed threadbare requirements and acquisition of land for upgradation of Airport.

The Director Airport informed the meeting that Category 2nd upgradation has ILS requirement and is thus possible for this Airport while Category 3rd has huge infrastructural requirement.

On acquisition of land, DC Budgam said that the identified land can easily be acquired, there is no problem in it besides there is also no issue of habitation.

While discussing the approach road, the SE PWD informed the chair about the three possible approach roads to the airport. The Div Com directed the concerned to get the approach road marked on Google map in coordination with Budgam authorities so that the same is finalised after proper deliberation.

The meeting also discussed acquiring two types of land for CISF, one for airport deployment and another for Battalion.

The Div Com directed the DC Budgam to expedite acquisition of land for airport deployment.