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Highway woes: Admin orders proper maintenance of NH44

Highway woes: Admin orders proper maintenance of NH44
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Directs concerned agencies to ensure free flow of traffic

Jammu: Concerned over frequent closure of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, authorities have directed the concerned agencies to ensure its proper maintenance so that transportation as well as tourism activities are not hampered, officials said on Saturday.
Travelling on the 270-km highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, had turned into a nightmare for the commuters in view of the frequent occurrence of landslides between Ramban and Banihal stretch.
Many have blamed the alleged poor planning and slow pace of the ongoing four-laning of the highway.
An official spokesperson on Saturday said that Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma had visited Ramban on Friday to review the ongoing highway widening and railway projects besides taking stock of arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra which is scheduled to begin in south Kashmir from July 1.
“Verma discussed at a high level meeting, the issue of frequent blockage of highway due to landslides and long traffic jamming causing much inconvenience to the commuters,” he said.
“He directed the construction companies for proper maintenance of the road stretch from Nashri to Banihal to avoid disruption of traffic movement so that transportation as well as tourism activities are not hampered,” he added.
During the meeting, several issues and bottlenecks like dumping sites, land acquisition, compensation of acquired structures, shifting of electricity towers, cutting of trees coming under alignment of these projects and other legal and technical issues were discussed, the official said.
The Divisional Commissioner instructed the construction agencies to strictly adhere to stipulated timelines and quality specifications in these projects, he added.
Verma also directed the district administration to ensure close monitoring and asked the executing agencies to achieve the targets within a fixed time frame, he said.
Emphasizing on the importance of highway four-laning and railway projects, Verma directed the district administration and construction companies to coordinate for removing bottlenecks, if any.
He also directed the officers of National Highway Authority of India to prepare a rehabilitation plan for those who donated lands, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, arrangements being made by the administration for this year’s annual yatra including establishment of ‘langars’ (community kitchens) and other facilities were also reviewed.
He directed the tourism department to install bio-toilets on identified locations along the highway, the spokesperson said. (PTI)
Teenage girl raped in Jammu, accused held
Jammu: A 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a youth here and the accused has been arrested, police said Saturday.
A family lodged a written complaint at police station Janipur Friday, alleging Karan Singh, a resident of Shivalik Puram, allegedly abducted their minor daughter and raped her in captivity, a police official said.
He said police lodged an FIR against the accused under various sections of Ranbir Penal Code, including 363 (kidnapping), 343 (wrongful confinement) and 376 (rape) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The medical examination of the girl was also conducted and she was later handed over to the family, the official said, adding the accused was arrested and further investigation is on.
Meanwhile, a university student was allegedly abducted and injured by a youth who was stalking her in Samba district. The girl was admitted in Kathua district hospital with cuts on her arms and other parts of the body and was later referred to Government Medical College hospital here for specialised treatment, officials said.
They said police has taken cognizance of the case and started investigations. In her statement, the girl said she was abducted by the youth when she was heading to her residence from central university Vijaypur.
“He slapped me several times before pushing me into his vehicle and sped away. He tried to molest me and also used a blade to inscribe his name on my arms and other parts of the body before setting me free in Samba,” the girl said adding he also tried to take her to a medical shop but the paramedic refused to treat her saying it is a police case.
She claimed that the accused took away her SIM cards as well.
“The girl, who is basically hailing from Kathua, was putting up with her relatives in Samba as she was perusing studies in the Central university. Her uncle took her home after the incident and accordingly she was admitted in the Kathua hospital,” a police official said. He said a police team from Vijaypur police station recorded her statement in Kathua hospital and further action is in progress. (PTI)

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