The Aadhar Card episode

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The Aadhar Card Episode

Obtaining an Aadhar Card from the concerned agency has turned out to be a hell of a job since last two years. The authorities appointed inexperienced staff and did not impart them the needed training for completion of the task to the satisfaction of common people and the authorities. This resulted in loss of many man days as the biometric process could not be successfully completed in most of the cases in the first go and then it was repeated in the second go and after a long break the third go is to take many more months as per the statement of the concerned officials.

We are told that the Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data. The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority established on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016.
We have been also informed that the Aadhaar is the world’s largest biometric ID system, with over 1.167billion enrolled members as of 30 July 2017. As of this date, over 99% of Indians aged 18 and above had been enrolled in Aadhaar. World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer described Aadhar as “the most sophisticated ID programme in world”.

According to this Act, the J&K State Govt. arranged enrollment of the citizens of Srinagar City and huge lines of people could be observed standing in queues for days together at different spots (mostly local school buildings) in the last year. Many sycophants managed to get the cards from back door entries. However in most of the cases the biometric ID recording had failed due to the inexperienced staff engaged on the job, who were more interested in getting their salary rather than ensuring the successful completion of their assignment. In most of the cases no ID slips were handed over to the applicants at the time of enrollment or thereafter with the result they were made to visit newly fixed spots like marriage halls frequently where thousands of the ID slips instead of handing over to the proper persons were spread on the floor of the entrance halls and even after spending a full day it was not possible to get hold of the ID slip for most of the people.
Meanwhile the process of enrollment was repeated second time in the earlier identified school premises generating long queues of people who had to abandon their routine work as before. This exercise also proved futile and the process of enrollment was put on hold by the Govt. for unknown reasons.
Recently the procedure of enrollment is reported to have been resumed third time but again it is going to take months together as stated by the staff concerned due to long list of pending failure cases. On the other hand different agencies like banks, LPG Gas suppliers and other related facility departments are notifying the people to link their accounts with their Aadhar cards which are not delivered to the clients due to the inefficiency of the ill-experienced limited staff. However there is a silver lining for those travelling abroad who are given preference in enrollment.
The authorities must attend to this vital issue involving frequent interruptions in the routine work of the people who are already over stressed by the day to day strikes.
To crown this all it is necessary to train the staff properly for their assignment besides holding classes for training their concerned officers in dealing with common people with humble behavior and etiquette. In this behalf may I quote the misbehavior and harassment by a lady ward officer named Fahmida, when biometric enrollment was in progress of the already scared five year old child at Ilahibagh marriage hall on 8th August 2017 and the process got delayed for hours together to get the scared child back on the track. We were told that since the ward officer has to deal with safai wallas and therefore she treats every citizen as a safai walla perhaps in line with Swatch Bharat mission. We hope the authorities will rise to the occasion and make earnest rectification/redressal of the public grievances. The complaint made to the authorities has not shown any results so far.
Residents of Ilahibagh, Bachpora.

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About The Institution of Engineers (India)   Jammu & Kashmir State Centre Srinagar

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The Institution of Engineers (India) is the world’s largest multidisciplinary professional body that encompasses 15 engineering disciplines and provides engineers a global platform from which to share professional interest. IE(I) has membership strength of more than 0.8 million. Established in 1920, with its headquarters at Kolkata, it has served the engineering fraternity for over nine decades. In this period of time it has been inextricably linked with the history of modern-day engineering.

In 1935, IE(I) was incorporated by Royal Charter and remains the only professional body in India to be accorded this honor. Today, its professional quest has given it a place of pride in almost every prestigious and relevant organization across the globe. IE(I) functions among professional engineers, academicians and research workers. It provides a vast array of technical, professional and supporting services to the Government, Industries, Academia and the Engineering fraternity, operating from 120 Centres located across the country and 05 Overseas. Every year as many as 90000 candidates appear for these examinations. The Institution has established R&D centres at various locations in the country and also provides grant-in-aid to its members to conduct research and development on engineering subjects.

IE(I) conducts Section A&B Examinations in different Engineering disciplines, the successful completion of which is recognized as equivalent to Degree in appropriate field of Engineering of recognized Universities of India by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Govt. of India. Every year as many as 90000 candidates appear for these exams. For details please see: www.ieindia.org

The J&K State Centre was established in 1960 and has completed its 57 years of existence in June 2017. This was later followed by the establishment of a Local Centre at Jammu.

The J&K State Centre has been regularly conducting technical programs, presentations, discussions and interactive sessions for the benefit of engineers in particular and the public in general.

Today’s presentation of the Draft Master Plan of Srinagar City (2015-35) is a step in this direction.

Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE Chairman IE(I) J&KSC Srinagar

 

 

 

 

Suggestions for the Master Plan-2035

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SUGGESTIONS FOR SRINAGAR MASTER PLAN – 2035

01) Recently Srinagar city has been enlisted as the smart city among the other 100 declared smart cities of the country. At the outset, we need to know what this smart city means and if its parameters have been considered in this Master Plan or need some modification.

02) Planned Housing with adequate free space: Well planned stepped housing colonies could be sited on hill-slopes facing south like Ganderbal to Dhara, which could have open sunlight, fresh breeze, efficient drainage, no flooding problem, ensured water supply, and electricity supply, solar power facilities etc. Such hill slopes are also available on Panthachok to Khunmoh etc. The colonies could be built by an agency following strictly the building bye-laws with no subsequent deviation by the beneficiaries. Selected spots could be provided with vertical expansion and flat system introduced as prevalent outside the valley. The requirement of the housing needs to be assessed according to the population growth and displacement of the people from the congested areas or water bodies. All establishment of new colonies should precede with provision of complete infrastructure like roads, drainage, sewerage, electrification etc.

03) Traffic Management on modern lines: Traffic planning is a branch of road traffic engineering, for which a separate wing in R&B Deptt. needs to be created to advise & monitor the proper geometrics of the road according to the IRC Code of practice. These shall include providing of lay-byes for the bus stands, design of road curves and intersections, level of foot paths with their design requirement, prescribed road markings, lanes demarcation, fixing of CCTV cameras at appropriate places to monitor violation of traffic rules for which the public need to be educated. In this connection there should be a compulsory well recognized school of driving to provide a certificate after passing out the course as is the practice in outside countries.

04) Road Networking, Market spaces, and Pavements: Road Networking needs to be designed according to the growing traffic demand. While as the number of vehicles are added every day irrespective of the consideration of available road space. This process needs to be limited within the parameters of the available road space, besides providing the required multistoried parking spaces adjacent to shopping malls. The prescribed rule of providing parking space in the basement floor in every shopping mall or future construction in the city needs to be got implemented by SMC in letter & spirit. This restriction has been violated by almost all the malls and calls for urgent action by the implementing agencies. Instead of allowing shops all along the new roads, spaces need to be earmarked for shopping centers with parking space and facilities of public utilities. Requirement of grade separators need to be visualized in the Master Plan and work carried out systematically. Our foot paths are generally not constructed according to the IRC specifications with the result pedestrians are often subjected to accidents/fractures. We must invite the best consultancy on the subject and strictly implement the same. For this a visit to Abu Dhabi by our planners could be most beneficial.

05) Along the crescent shaped Zabarwan foot hills we could plan a metro train relieving pressure on the boulevard avoiding the proposed widening of the road, besides serving as a tourist attraction overlooking the Dal lake. Besides, we could also plan a metro line along the bank of river Jhelum from Pampore to Chattabal with a few cross lines into the city.

06) Restoration of traditional graveyards, and their scientific management. The centuries old earmarked graveyards like Malakhah need to be restored after removing the unauthorized constructions by settling them in other colonies and a management body be created to provide for the carriage, digging of graves, and  the covering of the graves with tomb stones etc. besides, planting of flowering bulbs and their upkeep. This would generate ensured employment among those connected with the profession. The management body must have an office equipped with telephone, vehicles, and other accessories needed for the purpose.

07) Smart Housing Projects in congested areas, like Core Area Srinagar, to create open spaces.

Under the Circular Road System some decongestion of the areas was executed earlier besides the construction of a few new bridges, but the work seems to have been slowed down for unknown reasons. The decongestion could be made more effective by construction of alternative accommodation in the flats or colonies to the displaced family and open spaces converted in to parks, schools, medical centres, shopping centres, parking areas etc.

08) Public Amenities, like street lights, Parks, Play grounds, Parking slots. The city is lacking in public amenities like the designed toilets in market places proportionate to the number of shops, with the result there is a general complaint that being a tourist place the city of Srinagar and other towns and tourist spots, does not have sufficient toilets provided with modern facilities and disposal system. Similarly the street lights already provided have been defunct for years together and there seems no one to look after these in spite of repeated requests to the concerned departments of electricity and SMC. A separate cell needs to be created to look after this aspect with proper regular maintenance. Spaces need to be earmarked for the Parks, Play grounds and Parking slots and the displaced families be provided with alternative housing in colonies or flats.

09) Cleaning of drains, creating sumps, and dewatering stations that work round the clock:The regular cleaning, upkeep, and maintenance of the surface and deep drains need to be entrusted to a single body, who be made responsible as its failure creates frequent public inconvenience and resentment. The sumps and dewatering stations of designed capacities need to be provided both electrical and diesel pumps to ensure round the clock functioning besides, the dewatering stations need to be relocated at a level higher that the HFL to avoid non functioning during floods as experienced in September-14 floods.

10) De-siltation and dredging of flood channels: Time bound de-siltation and dredging of FS channel besides, it extension beyond its tail end to Wular Lake need to be considered for its efficient functioning. All encroachments need to be removed without ant delay as the flood does not keep any timetable.

11) Restoration of Jhelum. Restoration of Jhelum to its regime width and depth needs to be ensured. Time bound dredging needs to be ensured by deployment of sufficient and designed dredgers and responsibility fixed for any delay as the flooding involves the risk of lives and the property. In this connection recommendations made in various seminars including that of the Institution of Engineers India J&K State Centre Srinagar and submitted to the Government from time to time need to be considered seriously to avoid a future catastrophe.

12) Straightening and beautification of dykes. The guide bunds need to be strengthened by properly designed structures with necessary beautification. If the channels passing through the European/Gulf /Chinese/Japanese cities could be maintained neat and clean, why can’t we? It needs to be given a serious thought being an international tourist place.

13) Inland Water Transport: A scheme for Inland Water Transport on River Jhelum from Pampore to Chattabal (to be extended in future to Khannabal on upstream and to Baramulla on downstream besides, Dal Lake & Wular Lake) was formulated in 1998 by SDA retaining M/S Rites as consultants and the DPR is gathering dust in the office of the Chief Engineer I&FC Department for unknown reasons. Besides providing an alternative mode of transport decongesting the present surface transport, it would provide a tourist attraction to moor through the historic city of Srinagar besides, boosting the trade on the river banks. The 50 seated mechanized vessels were designed to carry the passengers besides of a lesser number of seated tourist boats. The project needs to be implemented without any further delay.

14) Solid Waste Disposal: After conducting chemical tests in 1981, the consultants “M/S Universal Enviroscience” recommended setting up of Mechanical Compost Plant after a period of 5 years of sanitary land fill. The compost would be sold to the farmers at subsidized cost to enrich the soil as per practice in other cities of India including Delhi Muncipal Corporation. We have encroached on 1000 kanal wetland at Achan Eidgah instead and the process is on.

15) New Ganderbal Hydro-electric Project: Lately the good sense has prevailed after a loss of 15 years when infrastructure was undertaken for 93 MW New Ganderbal Hydroelectric Project – so close to Srinagar city having less transmission losses besides providing a water conductor for the city water supply.

16) Setting up BIS Licensed Laboratory: It is surprising to know that in J&K State, there is no BIS-licensed testing laboratory for materials to be used in the construction works or for the end products. This makes our structures unsafe, our expenses on the development works infractuous. At present such laboratory exists either in Roorkee or at Delhi. We must strongly plead for establishment of such a laboratory in Srinagar city. Spending crores on projects construction must make a provision of setting up a BIS licensed laboratory in view of the safety of the construction works.

Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE

Chairman IEI J&K SC Srinagar

 

Presentation of Draft Master Plan of Srinagar City by Chief Town Planner Kashmir on 5th July 2017 at the auditorium of the Institution of Engineers (India) J&K State Centre Srinagar

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Chairman’s Address

 Honourable Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Social Welfare, Health and Medical Education Madam Aasya Naqash Sahibah, Er. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai IAS Chief Information Commissioner J&K Govt., Mr. Fayaz Ahmad Khan CTP Kashmir, honored guests, Assalam-u-Alaikum.

We, professional engineers assembled here today are honored to have amongst us Madam Aasya Naqash Honble MOS for Housing & Urban Development, Social Welfare, Health & Medical Education as our Chief Guest, Er. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai IAS (Retd.) Chief Information Commissioner J&K Govt. as our Guest of Honor , Ar. Fayaz Ahmad Khan Chief Town Planner Kashmir on this historic occasion of the presentation of the Draft Master Plan 2015-2035, organized for the invitation of the comments/suggestions both in spoken words and/or in writing.

To begin with, I would like to quote about Kashmir by a Persian couplet by a poet:

در  جستجو چون طوطی کردہ عالم را— مثل تو کس ندیدہ ونی از کسی شنیدہ                                                                                    

i.e. As I searched the entire world for my beloved, I could see or hear of no place like you.

Similarly Hazrat Shaikh Shahab-ud-din Suhrawardy (RA) said about eight centuries back:

کان الکشمیر لساکینھا  —–  جنات عدن ھی للمومنین

قد کتب اللہ علٰی بابھا —-  داخلھا کان من الآمنین  

i.e. Kashmir is for its residents, as the paradise is for the faithful. On its door is written, “He who enters it shall remain in peace and safety.”

If one enters the historic Khankah-i-Mualla, you will find this couplet inscribed on its entrance door centuries back.

Thus Kashmir was known as a place of peace and serenity. We know that all the development is subservient to peace. One of the main reasons of the haphazard development of the Srinagar city and the abuse of the former two master plans of the Srinagar city has been the frequent disturbances.

As we already know that the Town Planning Organization Kashmir has put the Draft Master Plan of Srinagar Metropolitan area in the public domain on 18th May 2017 and invited comments within two months from one and all among the citizens. Besides, the expansion of the city limits have been targeted from 416 sq. kms to 766 sq. kms. i.e. 84% increase and the population of Srinagar metropolitan Region has been indicated to be 3.4 million excluding the floating population.

Having put a constraint of two months for submission of suggestions by TPO, we are holding this second deliberation on the Master Plan-35 within a brief gap of 4 weeks only, to hit their fixed target.

We are thankful to INTACH Kashmir Chapter for presenting a summary of the said Draft Master Plan in this auditorium on 12th June 2010, which attracted an audience of high dignitaries presenting their suggestions. However there was general opinion that the soft/hard copy of the document was not made available to them for furnishing their detailed comments.

Hence it was felt that we should know the salient features of the Master Plan from its architect Mr. Fayaz Ahmad Khan CTP Kashmir and in this connection we must be highly thankful to Er. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai (IAS) Retd. Chief Information Commissioner J&K State, for taking keen interest in arranging this event.

We must also know that the present planning exercise is a great planning effort by TPO Kashmir for the city of Srinagar. The in-depth studies of various dimensions of urban development of the city speak greatly about the efforts gone into the formulation of the document. Now it is the duty of a conscious citizen to express and involve in the process of planning as envisaged in the Draft Master Plan. It is said that it is appropriate to strike the iron when it is hot than crying a horse at a later date. It is hoped that today’s exercise will go a long way in making positive contribution in rectifying our past mistakes and a strong Apex-body shall be nominated by the Govt. to monitor and ensure the implementation of the Master Plan, once it is finalized.

A word about the history of evolution of Cities and the city of Srinagar: Kashmir has the distinction of being the only place in the world that has a recorded chronological history for the past about 6ooo years.

The Settling of Man: Farming and the City

Over the first 2 million years of human history, our ancestors were entirely dependent upon nature’s whims for food. It is only within the last 10,000 years that they have settled down to farm the land and control their own food supply. The earliest settlements were farming villages. But as crop surplus grew and trade & industry thrived, the village became the organized city, crowded with specialist craftsmen, builders, carriers, sculptors, physicians, bureaucrats & priests.

The rise of Civilization:

Writing or town planning, monumental architecture or a legal code, sophisticated farming or the working of metals; the ancient cultures Mesopotamia, Peru, Babylon, Egypt, China, Minoan Crete, the Indus rose in a broad climatic band that favored the growth of crops.

The Oldest known City Mari:

The 7,000-year-old ancient city of Mari (known today as Tell Hariri) is one of the oldest known cities in the world, located on the west bank of the Euphrates River in what was once northern Mesopotamia (now eastern Syria). Thousands of years of erosion nearly wiped Mari from the pages of history, but it was rediscovered by a local Bedouin in the 1930s and since then has emerged from the sands following extensive excavations. It is now recognized as the oldest known planned city in the world, and a powerful center for trade, bronze smelting, and impressive technological and archaeological innovations.

The Indus: Ancient Town Planning

Ancient history of India reveals that long long ago; Indians knew the science of road construction.

The excavations/at Mohenjodaro and Harappa (Pakistan) have established that even in 3500 years BC, there was a well designed network of roads, and streets were paved at that time. These twin cities contained about 30,000 inhabitants each at their peak. Its towns were planned according to a rigorous rectangular grid system-even the bricks were made of uniform size. Particular care was taken over the water supply and the drainage and washing facilities. Houses often built two storey high, included bathrooms served by earthenware pipes. In some cases sit-down toilets were built, with sloping channels to drain in the street

Thus by 2500 BC, Cities were established in three major centres: the Nile Valley, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, with scattering of other cities across the intervening terrain.

Over the course of 2000 years from 3500 BC cities evolved in many different ways, reflecting the culture from which they emerged, outside pressures and the preoccupation of their rulers.

 

Our Srinagar city too has a long history of about 2000 years as traced from 3rd century BC to 21st century AD:

272 BC: King Asoka founded Sri Nagra at Purana Dishtina (Pandrethan)-old capital.

631 AD: King Parversena built Parverpora close to Koh-i-Maran on a higher ground.

725 AD: King Lalitaditya built Prihaspora 20 kms. away from Srinagar.

King Jahapida laid out the city of Jayapura

9th century AD: King Awantivarman  founded the city of Awantipura. Suya Minister Engineer of Awantivarman drained Kashmir Valley.

These were followed by setting up capitals at Kaniskapura, Juskapura,Hushkapura

1128 AD: Zulchu Khan invaded Kashmir and burnt the city of Lalitaditya.

14th century AD: King Rinchan Shah (Sultan Sadr-ud-Din) built his city at Budhgair on the right bank of river Jhelum. Central Asian architecture was introduced by the Muslim missionaries.

1342-54 A.D.—Sultan Ala-ud-Din extended Rinchan’s city along right bank of river Jhelum and built a new town Ala-ud-Din pora—now covering Khankahi Mualla and Malik Angan.

1429-70 A.D.—King Zainul Abidin built his capital 3 Kms. away from the city on north side and named it Nav-Shahr (new town) and opened a navigable channel (Nalla Mar) between Dal and Anchar Lake and also built the first bridge on river Jhelum called Zaina Kadal leading to the expansion of the city on the left bank as well.

15th. Century—Muslim rulers added 5 more bridges on river Jhelum and named it as Shar-i-Kashmir.

1566-1752 A.D.—Mughals constructed mosques, gardens, a rampart/ fortification around central hillock of Kohi Maran, where King Akbar had built a township named Nagar-nagari.

1752-1829—In Afghan rule Amir Mohammad Khan (1770-76) built a fort named Shergarhi on left bank of river Jhelum and a bridge on river Jhelum called Amira Kadal.

1810 A.D.—A dominant fort was built by Atta Mohammad Khan on the top of the hillock Kohi Maran.

1819-46 A.D.—In 1835 in Sikh rule Mahan Singh constructed gurdawara Chatti Padshahi. A navigable flood spill channel—Tsunti Khul constructed from Ram Munshi Bagh to Basant Bagh and renamed the city as Srinagar.

1846-1947 A.D.—Dogra rulers selected Shergarhi as their palace but later on shifted to Lake Front and used the Shergarhi as secretariat.

2nd half of 19th century—devastating floods, fires, famines and earthquakes struck the city but restoration was made simultaneously.

1890’s—Residency established, new schools, 1st intermediate college (S.P. College) and Central Library opened and piped water supply to city started.

1921-31—A silk factory and Govt. Woollen mill, Banihal Cart Road connecting Jammu and Rawalpindi constructed. Barbar Shah Bridge constructed, Gupkar road widened, Boulevard on Dal fringe connecting city with Mughal gardens, housing colonies came up at Wazir Bagh, Ram Munshi Bagh, Karan Nagar, Amar Singh Degree College, and S.M.H.S. Hospital got established.

1947—Dogra rule ended.

1947-1999—Srinagar city recorded a faster growth, but in a most haphazard manner. Small housing colonies of Jawahir nagar, Balgarden, Nursingh ghar, Sutra Shahi, Batamaloo, Chanapora, Bemina, Lal Bazar, Buchpora etc., Construction of Kashmir University, Regional Engineering College, Medical College, New Secretariat building, a good no. of educational institutions, hospitals,3 no. stadiums, fruit mandi, industrial estates, HMT, Bemina Woollen Mills, National Highway by-pass (17) Kms. got constructed.

1947-2000 A.D.—There was a sizable increase in other physical and social infrastructure but not commensurate with the population growth in the city.

Srinagar Municipality was established in Dogra rule in 1886. In 1960 it covered an area of 28 Sq. Kms. in 2000 SMC consisted of 17 wards with 952 mohallas and/ or villages and covered an area of 177 sq. Kms.

The first ever comprehensive plan for ensuring its sustainable development is reported to have been undertaken during the reign of Maharaja Gulab Singh in the aftermath of devastating floods of 1902. After 1947, Srinagar has been growing very fast, mostly in a haphazard manner.

The 1st comprehensive Master Plan 1971-1991 was extended till 2000 and a new Master Plan for 2000-2021 was prepared by the SDA and approved by the Govt. for implementation. It was recommended that an Apex Agency headed by a Senior Officer be appointed for ensuring periodical review of the Master Plan, its implementation and achievements of targets, monitoring of urban growth and development, failing which this Master Plan will be another plan on the shelf and that proved to be right with the passage of time.

Now learning from the past mistakes, a new Draft Master Plan Srinagar Metropolitan Region-2035 is in our hands to be deliberated upon. It is hoped that the suggestions/opinions shall be taken on board and considered while finalizing the same and the plan shall be implemented in a time bound manner and not made to starve for want of funds and a strong political will needed for its time bound implementation with proper monitoring by an Apex body.

 

A word about Srinagar Development Authority:

The Srinagar Development Authority was constituted under section 3 of Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, 1970, ( enforced in the whole of the State w.e.f. 31st  October 1970 by Notification S.R.O 518 dated 31-10-1970), the Local Area delineated  vide SRO 43 dated  2nd February 1971 for the purpose of  this Act formed the area of jurisdiction of the Authority. First Master Plan of said the Local area was approved by Government and notified vide  SRO 754 dated  22nd November 1976.  The second Master Plan ( 2000 – 2021 ) has  been presently  under operation and implementation which stands approved by Govt. vide Cabinet Decision No. 11/1 dated 16-01-2003 and notified vide SRO-28 dated 30th and notified vide SRO-28 dated 30th January 2003. Now the present Draft Master Plan 2035 is the third statutory planning exercise carried out for Srinagar city in 45 years.

CITIZEN CHARTER

The objectives of the Authority is to promote and secure the development of the local area, according to plan and for that purpose the Authority has the power to acquire, hold,  manage and dispose of land and other property, to carry out  building, engineering  and  other  operations, to  execute  works in  connection with supply of water and electricity,  disposal  of  sewerage  and  other  services  and  amenities  and  generally  to  do anything necessary or expedient for purposes of such development and for purposes incidental thereto.

Lastly allow me to express gratitude to our honored distinguished guests Madam Asya Naqash Hon’ble MOS, Er. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai CIC, Mr. Fayaz Ahmad Khan CTP for their gracious participation in today’s deliberations.

I wish the event a great success besides request the audience to present their views freely both in words and writing as required by the authorities. Thank you.

Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE (Chairman IEI J&K SC)

Road Safety

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ROAD SAFETY

Pre-historic period:

The history of roads is as old as the history of man on earth. The pre-historic men traced out a narrow way for going out for hunting the food. The narrow way was as footpath or pathwayThe pathway is considered as the first road mark laid on the surface of the earth like the Silk Route from China to Europe passing through Kashmir.  The utility and necessity of pathway gradually developed with the introduction of wheeled carts. The pathway was widened into a roadway which was the beginning of road as a means of communication and transport.

History of highway development in India

Indian civilization, being one of the oldest in the world (4000 to 3000 BC), witnessed the growth and development of roads along with her own development. Thus, while  tracing out the history of development of roads in India, one is to study it along with the development in the political, economic and cultural life of this country.

Roads under early Indian rulers:

Ancient history of India reveals that long long ago; Indians knew the science of road construction. The excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa (Pakistan) have established that even 3500 years BC, there was a well designed network of roads, and streets were paved at that time.
a. Aryan period:

During the Aryan period, there are references in Rig Veda (Part 1, Para 5) about ‘Mahapaths’ as a means of communication. About 600 years B.C., a pucca road (6.1 m to 7.3 m wide) was built in Rajgir (ancient Rajagriha) of Patna district by king Bimbisara. This road was made of stones and is still in existence.

  1. Mauryan period:

During this period, roads were developed on technical basis specifications were laid down for width of roads, given to the surface of roads and the convexity of road surface was compared to the back of a tortoise.

Artha Shastra, the well known treatise on administration, gives a good deal of information regarding roads along with specifications adopted during Mauryan period. The book of Artha Shastra was written in about 300 years B.C by Kautilya, the first prime minister of Emperor Chandragopta Maurya.

Chandragopta Maurya(322-298 B.C.) took keen interest in the maintenance and development of roads. He had a separate department of communications to look after the public roads. He got constructed the GT Road connecting North-West frontier with capital Patliputra, the modern Patna. He also got fixed some sign post in the form of pillars and mile stones along the road side at regular intervals.

Emperor Ashoka took special interest in the improvement of roads and provided facilities to the travelers. Such facilities were in the form of plantation of trees, digging walls and constructing rest houses at about 4.8 to 6.4 kms distance along the roads. The famous Chinese traveler Fahien had spoken very highly of the roads of that time in the record of his travel.
Roads during the Mughal period:

The roads were very greatly improved in India during the Mughal period. Chahar Gulshan, which was written in eighteenth century, gives an information regarding 24 important roads which formed the network of roads in India during the Mughal period. The road system in those days was considered as one of the best road systems in the world.

The road from Delhi to Daultabad was constructed by Mohamad Tughlag. Sher Shah Suri got constructed the longest road i.e. the road from Punjab to Bengal. The present Grand Trunk Road forms the greater part of the Old Shershahi road, also called Badshahi sarak. The road from Agra to Allahabad and that from Ujjain to Bijapur were also got constructed by Muslim Emperor. Many of roads, constructed during Mughal period exist even today.

Roads during the British rule:

The economic and political shifts caused much damage in the maintenance of road transportation. Thus, with the fall of Mughal Empire, the condition of roads became deteriorated.
At the beginning of the British period, a number of old Mughal roads, connecting important military and business centers were metal led and some new roads were constructed by Military boards during the time of Lord William Bentinck. But the administration of roads under military boards was not a satisfactory arrangement. It was only during the administration of Lord Dalhousie that the central public works department was established to look after the construction and maintenance of roads. Later, such departments were created in other provinces also. Lord Mayo and Lord Rippon contributed a lot in the development of roads because the affairs of construction and maintenance of roads came. Later, such departments were created in other provinces also. Lord Mayo and Lord Rippon contributed a lot in the development of roads because the affairs of construction and maintenance of roads came directly under the control of Local bodies.

With the development of Railways in India, the road development received a serious set back. The work of road construction and maintenance was given a secondary importance and thus the roads gradually lost the interest of the government.

Major roads, except those of military importance, mainly centered on the feeder roads to railways. Thus, the outlook on road development was completely changed and they were considered to be only of local importance. According to Government. of India Act of 1919, the affairs of all the roads, except those of military importance and certain other roads of national importance were transferred from the central government. to the provincial governments. The provincial governments, in their turn, took over the direct responsibility of construction and maintenance of roads of provincial importance and placed the grater part of road mileage in the charge of local bodies.

After World War-1, motor transport came to the fore-front which created revolution in India’s transportation system. Under the continued effect of high speed motor transport, the existing roads soon get deteriorated. The local bodies, with their limited financial and meagre technical resources, could not deal with the situation properly and with the increased motor traffic, the condition of roads went from bad to worse. Then the central government. took the following steps towards the development of roads:

  1. Appointment of Jayakar committee:

In 1972, the central government. appointed the Jayakar committee under the chairmanship of DR. M.R. Jayakar to report on the condition of the existing roads and to suggest ways and means for their future development. In 1928, the Jayakar committee recommended that since the provincial governments and the local bodies were unable to look after all the roads and therefore, the central government. should look after all the important roads of national importance.

b. Creation of central road fund:

On recommendation of the Jayakar committee, the central road fund was enforced on first march, 1929. The petrol tax surcharge at the rate of two annas per gallon (2.64 paise per liters) of the petrol consumed by motor traffic was imposted to build the road development fund. Out of annual revenue, thus collected, 20% was to be retained by the central government. for meeting expenses on the on the administration purpose, research and the development of roads under it’s charge. The balance 80% of the central road fund was to be distributed among the provinces, according to their petrol consumption, for maintenance and construction of roads.

c. Indian roads congress:

In 1934, a semi-official technical body known as Indian Roads Congress (IRC) was established by the central government as per recommendation of the Jayakar committee. This body was formed of national importance for controlling standardization, specifications and recommendations regarding design and construction of roads and bridges. But the economic depression during that time delayed the road development programmes.

After World War II, there was a revolution in respect of automobiles using the roads in our country. The road development at that time could not keep pace with the rapid increase in road vehicles and therefore, the existing roads started deteriorating fast. This necessitated proper highway planning by the authorities.
Nagpur plan:

In 1934, a conference of the chief engineers of central and state government was convened by the central government at Nagpur. It is a landmark in the history of road development in India since it was the first attempt to prepare road development programme in a planned manner. That conference finalized a twenty year road development plan (1943-1963) popularly known as the Nagpur Plan.

According to that plan, all roads were classified into four broad categories namely National Highways, State Highways, District Roads and Village Roads. It was also recommended that the central government. should assume complete financial liability for construction and maintenance of roads classified as National Highways and the construction of roads of national importance was made the responsibility of the central government.
Roads during the post independence period:

After independence, the government. of India started taking much interest towards the development of roads in the country. The Nagpur plan targets were mostly achieved by 1960 through the first and second five year (1951-56 and 1956-61).

The various steps taken by the Government. of India towards the development of roads in the country after independence are described here:

  1. Central road research institute:

In 1950, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) was started at New Delhi. This institute is considered as one of the National laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in India. This institute is mainly engaged in applied research and offers technical advice to state governments on various problems concerning to roads.

b. National highway act:

In 1956, the National Highway Act was passed. According to this act, the responsibility of development and maintenance of National Highways was given provisionally to the central government.

Road development plan(1961-81)

In 1958, the next Twenty Years Road Development Plan (1961-81) was finalized at the meeting of Chief engineers of states. This is popularly known as the Chief Engineer’s Plan. In this plan, due consideration was given to the future developments on various fields of our country.
According to this Road Development Plan, the total length was almost double to that of Nagpur Plan target. This plan aimed at bringing any place in a well-developed agricultural area within 6.44 km from a metalled road 2.41 km from any other category of road.

It was presumed that better organizational arrangements and through intensive future planning’s, India will not only make up the deficiency in roads but she will lead many other countries in this respect in near future.

Contribution of roads towards development

Roads are the arteries through which the economy pulses. By linking producers to markets, workers to jobs, students to school, and the sick to hospitals, roads are vital to any development agenda.  Since 2002, the World Bank has constructed or rehabilitated more than 260,000 km of roads. It lends more for roads than for education, health, and social services combined.  However, while roads bring economic and social benefits, they can also come with social costs such as pollution or deforestation.  The Amazon rainforest is crisscrossed by almost 100,000 km of roads—enough to circle the Earth two and a half times. And the transport sector accounts for about 23 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and a significant share of local particle pollution. Such tradeoffs need to be weighed when planning any intervention.

Old Banihal Cart Road

‘A guide for visitors to Kashmir’ (1898) by W. Newman mentions Banihal route to Kashmir but adds that it was meant only for the royal family. In addition, Walter Rooper Lawrence, the Land settlement officer in Kashmir from 1889 to 1895 in his book ‘Valley of Kashmir’ (1895) regrets that valley in not connected to plains via Banihal pass which was something achievable and desirable. The route linking Srinagar to Rawalpindi railhead, Jehlum Valley Cart road was already operational by 1890 using help of Spedding & Co, a private army of civil engineers maintained by Charles Spedding. The modern route via Banihal must have first come up in between those years. The road called ‘new’ Banihal route  [BC Road, Banihal Cart Road] was finally completed in 1915 at a cost of about 40 lakh and opened to public in around 1922. The main Kashmiri engineer for the Banihal project was Pt. Laxman Joo Tickoo. With the opening of the motor-able all weather road, the dreaded ‘Begar’ system, in which people would be forceful made to act like coolies for people crossing the treacherous passes, died.

 
History of J&K Roads

1 The state of Jammu & Kashmir came into existence in March 16, 1846 under treaty of Amritsar when it was purchased by Raja Gulab Singh from Britishers under this treaty for Seventy Five Lakh Rupees.
2 Public works Department first came into existence in Jammu & Kashmir State in the reign of Maharaja Partap Singh in the year 1885. the overall technical guidance and supervision was from British Engineers.
3 The first road in the J&K state named “Jehlum Valley Cart road” was started in the year 1881. The 92 miles long road stretch from Baramulla to Kohala was completed in 1890.
4 The first road ( 92 miles Baramulla Kohala Stretch of Jehlum Valley Cart road) was opened to wheeled traffic in Sept. 1890 by Maharaja Partap Singh.
5 The first entry of wheeled vehicle in the state was on 13th Sept. 1890 when Maharaja Partap Singh was driven on Baramulla Kohala road.
6 The first road to be brought to asphaltic specifications was Jammu city main road in the year 1934.
7 Banihal Cart road was started in the year 1901. The road was first opened to traffic from Jammu to Srinagar on 2nd May 1921 in connection with annual Darbar move.
8 Ladakh road became motorable up to Gagangir by the year 1941.
9 Batote Bhaderwah road was started in 1937 and completed in 1943.
10 Kathua Basholi road was started in 1937 and completed in 1940.
11 Udhampur Ramnagar road was started in 1937 and completed in 1940.
12 Mirpur Bhimber road via Chhapper was started in 1938 and completed in 1939.
13 Patnitop – Sanasar road was started in 1938 and completed in 1939.
14 Saria to Nowshera road was started in 1936 and completed in 1937.
15 Katra Reasi road was constructed in 1934.
16 Mirpur Kotli Poonch road was thrown open to traffic in 1933.
17 Doda – Kishtwar road was constructed in 1941.
18 In Kashmir Province, Valley road from Sadi Hazi to Drugjan was constructed in 1898-99. Durgjan bridge to Shalamar Garden road was constructed in 1896-97. The other important road including Tanga road from Srinagar to Gulamrg; Uri Hajipir road and Avantipur Islamabad road were constructed with a cost of Rs. 67174-00 ; Rs. 17230-00 and Rs. 53419-00 respectively.
19 Public Works Department in J&K headed by Chief Engineer belonging to J&K state came into existence in the year 1945.
20 A separate department of PWD Roads and Buildings J&K state came into existence in the year 1952.
21 The Public Works (Roads & Buildings) Department was bifurcated in two Divisions of Jammu Province and Kashmir Province with two Chief Engineers in the year 1958.

 

Srinagar Jammu National Highway

 

Srinagar Jammu National Highway is a part of NH 44 (former name NH 1A before renumbering of all national highways) system and connects Srinagar (Kashmir Valley) with Jammu City. The distance between Jammu Tawi and Srinagar was 295 km[1] and is expected to reduce by about 30 km after commissioning of Chenani-Nashri Tunnelnew Banihal road tunnel and other small tunnels. These tunnels will also help keep the highway open during winter avalanches. It is one of the two road links (other being Mughal road) that connects Kashmir Valley with the rest of India. The traffic on the highway is controlled by two control rooms, one in Srinagar and other in Jammu.

Features

The highway starts from Lal ChowkSrinagar and then passes through Pulwama districtAnantnag districtKulgam districtRamban districtUdhampur district and ends in Jammu city. The highway lies in Kashmir valley for first 68 km up to Qazigund and then passes through series of Mountains up to Jammu. The highway is famous for Patnitop Hill station, Jawahar Tunnel, Sweets of Kud and Tea of Sarmuli. The highway is often closed during winter days due to heavy snowfall in Kashmir valley and district Ramban. Many landslides and avalanches in the mountainous region leads to closure of highway during winters.[2]

The government of Jammu and Kashmir spends lot of money every year on maintenance of the highway. At many sites new roads with less number of road curves and tunnel are constructed which would not only provide comfort to the passengers but would also reduce distance between the two cities.[3]

The railway line connecting Baramulla at the western end of Kashmir Valley with Banihal across the Pir Panjal Range of mountains has eased traffic on the highway as many people prefer to travel in train up to Banihal because train travel is both economical and time-saving. The distance between Qazigund, north of the Pir Panjal mountains, and Banihal, south of Pir Panjal mountains, is 35 km by road compared to only 17 km by railway and the train takes hardly one-fourth time and fare. After reaching Banihal railway station, people take the road (mainly bus) to reach Udhampur or Jammu.

Traffic control rooms

Traffic on the highway is controlled by Traffic control rooms of two capitals.

  • The contact number ofTraffic control room Srinagar is 01942450022 and
  • The contact number ofTraffic control room Jammu is 01942459048.

These numbers help the people to get latest updates on the conditions of the highway and help them to postpone their journey in case of bad weather.[4]

“Nafrat ki deewaron ko gira kar hee dam lengey” (we will rest only after dismantling the walls of hatred), read signposts erected at crossings in Srinagar two years ago by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). No one would have thought that these politically motivated slogans would become reality one day. Today all roads seem to lead to Kaman Post, the last point at the Line of Control (LoC) in the Uri sector, on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road. The length of the road up to Kaman Post from Srinagar is 118.5 km.

The Srinagar-Jhelum Valley road, as it was known then, was the lone dependable connection between Kashmir and the rest of the world until the mid-1950s when the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad, initiated construction of the Jawahar Tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. Until then Srinagar was connected with Jammu by a smaller link called the Banihal Cart Road. When the tribesmen raided Kashmir in 1947, the only bridge near Kaman Post was damaged and repair work was taken up only recently by the armies of India and Pakistan.

Big Data for Big Impact

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World Telecom & Information Society Day 2017                                

 Theme: Big Data for Big Impact

The theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2017 (WTISD-17), “Big Data for Big Impact,” focuses on the power of Big Data for development and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context. The insight brought on by advanced analysis can strongly complement the evidence-based nature of decision-making that can be leveraged at national, regional and international levels to drive success towards attaining all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

The theme for WTISD-17 is in line with ITU‘s work highlighting the technological developments that have facilitated the emergence of Big Data, developing standards related to Big Data and identifying sources and uses of Big Data, including use of Big Data technologies for developing and monitoring improvements in information societies.

Activities undertaken by the ITU Membership will contribute towards building political momentum to embrace Big Data and leverage insights to identify new opportunities to creatively address sustainable development challenges.

There was a time when people said, “No news is good news.” But today information is a powerful tool even to control public unrest by gagging it at the regional level, as is being witnessed by us during the present days of unrest. People have become dependable on information generation in the electronic media the world over. A user can have all the latest information that he needs on his finger tips: electronic newspaper, yellow pages, telephone directories, stock exchange prices etc. Access to information as a basic right can stimulate the world’s economy to the benefit of all. The business community has come to understand information as a valuable commodity required for planning, directing, controlling decision-making, motivating, forecasting and so on to ensure positive and gainful operation.

A report by the OCED estimates that more than half of the GDP in rich countries is now knowledge based, including industries such as Telecommunications, Education, Television, Computers, Software and Pharmaceuticals. A typical American car today has more computing power than the lunar-landing craft had in 1969. If the computer is the most important thing that man invented since the wheel, software is the fuel that sets the wheels of the machine running.

In 1960 a transatlantic cable could carry only 138 conversations simultaneously. To-day a fibre-optic cable carries over 150 million. The development from telegraph to mobile phone has covered a period of about one and a half century from 1840. No communication medium has grown faster than the internet, which already connected more than 300 million users worldwide in 2000, half of which were American, that is the so called “Information Revolution.”

Anybody with a prescribed mobile phone can Tele-shop, Tele-bank, Tele-learn 24 hours a day.

The trend towards business mergers that began in 1980’s has created several giant media firms. The six biggest span the world in a wide range of media, with internet in areas such as book publishing, the music industry and TV networks. In this connection Viacom, Broadcasting, Book publishing, Vivendi Universal, Bertelmann, News Corporation, AOL Time Warner, Walt Disney are on the forefront.

Google is enrolled as a global leader in the technology centre. Its search engine is the world’s most important with some 200 million searches a day. Its base information includes some 4 billion web pages. It can search in 97 languages and its non US audience is bigger than US.

What Is Big Data?

For organizations of all sizes, data management has shifted from an important competency to a critical differentiator that can determine market winners and has-beens. Fortune 1000 companies and government bodies are starting to benefit from the innovations of the web pioneers. These organizations are defining new initiatives and re-evaluating existing strategies to examine how they can transform their businesses using Big Data. In the process, they are learning that Big Data is not a single technology, technique or initiative. Rather, it is a trend across many areas of business and technology.

Big Data refers to technologies and initiatives that involve data that is too diverse, fast-changing or massive for conventional technologies, skills and infra- structure to address efficiently. Said differently, the volume, velocity or variety of data is too great.

But today, new technologies make it possible to realize value from Big Data. For example, retailers can track user web clicks to identify behavioral trends that improve campaigns, pricing and stock age. Utilities can capture household energy usage levels to predict outages and to incent more efficient energy consumption. Governments and even Google can detect and track the emergence of disease outbreaks via social media signals. Oil and gas companies can take the output of sensors in their drilling equipment to make more efficient and safer drilling decisions.

‘Big Data’ describes data sets so large and complex they are impractical to manage with traditional software tools.

Specifically, Big Data relates to data creation, storage, retrieval and analysis that is remarkable in terms of volume, velocity, and variety:

  • Volume:A typical PC might have had 10 gigabytes of storage in 2000. Today, Facebook ingests 500 terabytes of new data every day; a Boeing 737 will generate 240 terabytes of flight data during a single flight across the US; the proliferation of smart phones, the data they create and consume; sensors embedded into everyday objects will soon result in billions of new, constantly-updated data feeds containing environmental, location, and other information, including video.
  • Velocity:Click streams and ad impressions capture user behavior at millions of events per second; high-frequency stock trading algorithms reflect market changes within microseconds; machine to machine processes exchange data between billions of devices; infrastructure and sensors generate massive log data in real-time; on-line gaming systems support millions of concurrent users, each producing multiple inputs per second.
  • Variety:Big Data isn’t just numbers, dates, and strings. Big Data is also geospatial data, 3D data, audio and video, and unstructured text, including log files and social media. Traditional database systems were designed to address smaller volumes of structured data, fewer updates or a predictable, consistent data structure. Traditional database systems are also designed to operate on a single server, making increased capacity expensive and finite. As applications have evolved to serve large volumes of users, and as application development practices have become agile, the traditional use of the relational database has become a liability for many companies rather than an enabling factor in their business. Big Data databases, such as MongoDB, solve these problems and provide companies with the means to create tremendous business value.

Thus we can infer that these trends in telecommunications have paved the way to the sustainable development in our times. I wish the two day conference on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD-2017) organized jointly by Computer Science & Engineering Department (CSED-NIT) and the Institution of Engineers J&K State Centre (IEI J&KSC) a great success. Thank you.

Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE (Chairman IEI J&KSC Srinagar)

Matter of Safety

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ROAD SAFETY

Pre-historic period:

The history of roads is as old as the history of man on earth. The pre-historic men traced out a narrow way for going out for hunting the food. The narrow way was as footpath or pathwayThe pathway is considered as the first road mark laid on the surface of earth. The utility and necessity of pathway gradually developed with the introduction of wheeled carts. The pathway was widened into a roadway which was the beginning of road as a means of communication and transport.

History of highway development in India

Indian civilization, being one of the oldest in the world (4000 to 3000 BC), witnessed the growth and development of roads along with her own development. Thus, while  tracing out the history of development of roads in India, one is to study it along with the development in the political, economic and cultural life of this country.

Roads under early Indian rulers:

Ancient history of India reveals that long long ago; Indians knew the science of road construction. The excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa (Pakistan) have established that even 3500 years BC, there was a well designed network of roads, and streets were paved at that time.
a. Aryan period:

During the Aryan period, there are references in Rig Veda (Part 1, Para 5) about ‘Mahapaths’ as a means of communication. About 600 years B.C., a pucca road (6.1 m to 7.3 m wide) was built in Rajgir (ancient Rajagriha) of Patna district by king Bimbisara. This road was made of stones and is still in existence.

  1. Mauryan period:

During this period, roads were developed on technical basis specifications were laid down for width of roads, given to the surface of roads and the convexity of road surface was compared to the back of a tortoise.

Artha Shastra, the well known treatise on administration, gives a good deal of information regarding roads along with specifications adopted during Mauryan period. The book of Artha Shastra was written in about 300 years B.C by Kautilya, the first prime minister of Emperor Chandragopta Maurya.

Chandragopta Maurya(322-298 B.C.) took keen interest in the maintenance and development of roads. He had a separate department of communications to look after the public roads. He got constructed the GT Road connecting North-West frontier with capital Patliputra, the modern Patna. He also got fixed some sign post in the form of pillars and mile stones along the road side at regular intervals.

Emperor Ashoka took special interest in the improvement of roads and provided facilities to the travelers. Such facilities were in the form of plantation of trees, digging walls and constructing rest houses at about 4.8 to 6.4 kms distance along the roads. The famous Chinese traveler Fahien had spoken very highly of the roads of that time in the record of his travel.
Roads during the Mughal period:

The roads were very greatly improved in India during the Mughal period. Chahar Gulshan, which was written in eighteenth century, gives an information regarding 24 important roads which formed the network of roads in India during the Mughal period. The road system in those days was considered as one of the best road systems in the world.

The road from Delhi to Daultabad was constructed by Mohamad Tughlag. Sher Shah Suri got constructed the longest road i.e. the road from Punjab to Bengal. The present Grand Trunk Road forms the greater part of the Old Shershahi road, also called Badshahi sarak. The road from Agra to Allahabad and that from Ujjain to Bijapur were also got constructed by Muslim Emperor. Many of roads, constructed during Mughal period exist even today.

Roads during the British rule:

The economic and political shifts caused much damage in the maintenance of road transportation. Thus, with the fall of Mughal Empire, the condition of roads became deteriorated.
At the beginning of the British period, a number of old Mughal roads, connecting important military and business centers were metal led and some new roads were constructed by Military boards during the time of Lord William Bentinck. But the administration of roads under military boards was not a satisfactory arrangement. It was only during the administration of Lord Dalhousie that the central public works department was established to look after the construction and maintenance of roads. Later, such departments were created in other provinces also. Lord Mayo and Lord Rippon contributed a lot in the development of roads because the affairs of construction and maintenance of roads came. Later, such departments were created in other provinces also. Lord Mayo and Lord Rippon contributed a lot in the development of roads because the affairs of construction and maintenance of roads came directly under the control of Local bodies.

With the development of Railways in India, the road development received a serious set back. The work of road construction and maintenance was given a secondary importance and thus the roads gradually lost the interest of the government.

Major roads, except those of military importance, mainly centered on the feeder roads to railways. Thus, the outlook on road development was completely changed and they were considered to be only of local importance. According to Government. of India Act of 1919, the affairs of all the roads, except those of military importance and certain other roads of national importance were transferred from the central government. to the provincial governments. The provincial governments, in their turn, took over the direct responsibility of construction and maintenance of roads of provincial importance and placed the grater part of road mileage in the charge of local bodies.

After World War-1, motor transport came to the fore-front which created revolution in India’s transportation system. Under the continued effect of high speed motor transport, the existing roads soon get deteriorated. The local bodies, with their limited financial and meagre technical resources, could not deal with the situation properly and with the increased motor traffic, the condition of roads went from bad to worse. Then the central government. took the following steps towards the development of roads:

  1. Appointment of Jayakar committee:

In 1972, the central government. appointed the Jayakar committee under the chairmanship of DR. M.R. Jayakar to report on the condition of the existing roads and to suggest ways and means for their future development. In 1928, the Jayakar committee recommended that since the provincial governments and the local bodies were unable to look after all the roads and therefore, the central government. should look after all the important roads of national importance.

b. Creation of central road fund:

On recommendation of the Jayakar committee, the central road fund was enforced on first march, 1929. The petrol tax surcharge at the rate of two annas per gallon (2.64 paise per liters) of the petrol consumed by motor traffic was imposted to build the road development fund. Out of annual revenue, thus collected, 20% was to be retained by the central government. for meeting expenses on the on the administration purpose, research and the development of roads under it’s charge. The balance 80% of the central road fund was to be distributed among the provinces, according to their petrol consumption, for maintenance and construction of roads.

c. Indian roads congress:

In 1934, a semi-official technical body known as Indian Roads Congress (IRC) was established by the central government as per recommendation of the Jayakar committee. This body was formed of national importance for controlling standardization, specifications and recommendations regarding design and construction of roads and bridges. But the economic depression during that time delayed the road development programmes.

After World War II, there was a revolution in respect of automobiles using the roads in our country. The road development at that time could not keep pace with the rapid increase in road vehicles and therefore, the existing roads started deteriorating fast. This necessitated proper highway planning by the authorities.
Nagpur plan:

In 1934, a conference of the chief engineers of central and state government was convened by the central government at Nagpur. It is a landmark in the history of road development in India since it was the first attempt to prepare road development programme in a planned manner. That conference finalized a twenty year road development plan (1943-1963) popularly known as the Nagpur Plan.

According to that plan, all roads were classified into four broad categories namely National Highways, State Highways, District Roads and Village Roads. It was also recommended that the central government. should assume complete financial liability for construction and maintenance of roads classified as National Highways and the construction of roads of national importance was made the responsibility of the central government.
Roads during the post independence period:

After independence, the government. of India started taking much interest towards the development of roads in the country. The Nagpur plan targets were mostly achieved by 1960 through the first and second five year (1951-56 and 1956-61).

The various steps taken by the Government. of India towards the development of roads in the country after independence are described here:

  1. Central road research institute:

In 1950, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) was started at New Delhi. This institute is considered as one of the National laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in India. This institute is mainly engaged in applied research and offers technical advice to state governments on various problems concerning to roads.

b. National highway act:

In 1956, the National Highway Act was passed. According to this act, the responsibility of development and maintenance of National Highways was given provisionally to the central government.

Road development plan(1961-81)

In 1958, the next Twenty Years Road Development Plan (1961-81) was finalized at the meeting of Chief engineers of states. This is popularly known as the Chief Engineer’s Plan. In this plan, due consideration was given to the future developments on various fields of our country.
According to this Road Development Plan, the total length was almost double to that of Nagpur Plan target. This plan aimed at bringing any place in a well-developed agricultural area within 6.44 km from a metalled road 2.41 km from any other category of road.

It was presumed that better organizational arrangements and through intensive future planning’s, India will not only make up the deficiency in roads but she will lead many other countries in this respect in near future.

Contribution of roads towards development

Roads are the arteries through which the economy pulses. By linking producers to markets, workers to jobs, students to school, and the sick to hospitals, roads are vital to any development agenda.  Since 2002, the World Bank has constructed or rehabilitated more than 260,000 km of roads. It lends more for roads than for education, health, and social services combined.  However, while roads bring economic and social benefits, they can also come with social costs such as pollution or deforestation.  The Amazon rainforest is crisscrossed by almost 100,000 km of roads—enough to circle the Earth two and a half times. And the transport sector accounts for about 23 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and a significant share of local particle pollution. Such tradeoffs need to be weighed when planning any intervention.

Old Banihal Cart Road

‘A guide for visitors to Kashmir’ (1898) by W. Newman mentions Banihal route to Kashmir but adds that it was meant only for the royal family. In addition, Walter Rooper Lawrence, the Land settlement officer in Kashmir from 1889 to 1895 in his book ‘Valley of Kashmir’ (1895) regrets that valley in not connected to plains via Banihal pass which was something achievable and desirable. The route linking Srinagar to Rawalpindi railhead, Jehlum Valley Cart road was already operational by 1890 using help of Spedding & Co, a private army of civil engineers maintained by Charles Spedding. The modern route via Banihal must have first come up in between those years. The road called ‘new’ Banihal route  [BC Road, Banihal Cart Road] was finally completed in 1915 at a cost of about 40 lakh and opened to public in around 1922. The main Kashmiri engineer for the Banihal project was Pt. Laxman Joo Tickoo. With the opening of the motor-able all weather road, the dreaded ‘Begar’ system, in which people would be forceful made to act like coolies for people crossing the treacherous passes, died.

 
History of J&K Roads

1 The state of Jammu & Kashmir came into existence in March 16, 1846 under treaty of Amritsar when it was purchased by Raja Gulab Singh from Britishers under this treaty for Seventy Five Lakh Rupees.
2 Public works Department first came into existence in Jammu & Kashmir State in the reign of Maharaja Partap Singh in the year 1885. the overall technical guidance and supervision was from British Engineers.
3 The first road in the J&K state named “Jehlum Valley Cart road” was started in the year 1881. The 92 miles long road stretch from Baramulla to Kohala was completed in 1890.
4 The first road ( 92 miles Baramulla Kohala Stretch of Jehlum Valley Cart road) was opened to wheeled traffic in Sept. 1890 by Maharaja Partap Singh.
5 The first entry of wheeled vehicle in the state was on 13th Sept. 1890 when Maharaja Partap Singh was driven on Baramulla Kohala road.
6 The first road to be brought to asphaltic specifications was Jammu city main road in the year 1934.
7 Banihal Cart road was started in the year 1901. The road was first opened to traffic from Jammu to Srinagar on 2nd May 1921 in connection with annual Darbar move.
8 Ladakh road became motorable up to Gagangir by the year 1941.
9 Batote Bhaderwah road was started in 1937 and completed in 1943.
10 Kathua Basholi road was started in 1937 and completed in 1940.
11 Udhampur Ramnagar road was started in 1937 and completed in 1940.
12 Mirpur Bhimber road via Chhapper was started in 1938 and completed in 1939.
13 Patnitop – Sanasar road was started in 1938 and completed in 1939.
14 Saria to Nowshera road was started in 1936 and completed in 1937.
15 Katra Reasi road was constructed in 1934.
16 Mirpur Kotli Poonch road was thrown open to traffic in 1933.
17 Doda – Kishtwar road was constructed in 1941.
18 In Kashmir Province, Valley road from Sadi Hazi to Drugjan was constructed in 1898-99. Durgjan bridge to Shalamar Garden road was constructed in 1896-97. The other important road including Tanga road from Srinagar to Gulamrg; Uri Hajipir road and Avantipur Islamabad road were constructed with a cost of Rs. 67174-00 ; Rs. 17230-00 and Rs. 53419-00 respectively.
19 Public Works Department in J&K headed by Chief Engineer belonging to J&K state came into existence in the year 1945.
20 A separate department of PWD Roads and Buildings J&K state came into existence in the year 1952.
21 The Public Works (Roads & Buildings) Department was bifurcated in two Divisions of Jammu Province and Kashmir Province with two Chief Engineers in the year 1958.

 

Srinagar Jammu National Highway

 

Srinagar Jammu National Highway is a part of NH 44 (former name NH 1A before renumbering of all national highways) system and connects Srinagar (Kashmir Valley) with Jammu City. The distance between Jammu Tawi and Srinagar was 295 km[1] and is expected to reduce by about 30 km after commissioning of Chenani-Nashri Tunnelnew Banihal road tunnel and other small tunnels. These tunnels will also help keep the highway open during winter avalanches. It is one of the two road links (other being Mughal road) that connects Kashmir Valley with the rest of India. The traffic on the highway is controlled by two control rooms, one in Srinagar and other in Jammu.

Features

The highway starts from Lal ChowkSrinagar and then passes through Pulwama districtAnantnag districtKulgam districtRamban districtUdhampur district and ends in Jammu city. The highway lies in Kashmir valley for first 68 km up to Qazigund and then passes through series of Mountains up to Jammu. The highway is famous for Patnitop Hill station, Jawahar Tunnel, Sweets of Kud and Tea of Sarmuli. The highway is often closed during winter days due to heavy snowfall in Kashmir valley and district Ramban. Many landslides and avalanches in the mountainous region leads to closure of highway during winters.[2]

The government of Jammu and Kashmir spends lot of money every year on maintenance of the highway. At many sites new roads with less number of road curves and tunnel are constructed which would not only provide comfort to the passengers but would also reduce distance between the two cities.[3]

The railway line connecting Baramulla at the western end of Kashmir Valley with Banihal across the Pir Panjal Range of mountains has eased traffic on the highway as many people prefer to travel in train up to Banihal because train travel is both economical and time-saving. The distance between Qazigund, north of the Pir Panjal mountains, and Banihal, south of Pir Panjal mountains, is 35 km by road compared to only 17 km by railway and the train takes hardly one-fourth time and fare. After reaching Banihal railway station, people take the road (mainly bus) to reach Udhampur or Jammu.

Traffic control rooms

Traffic on the highway is controlled by Traffic control rooms of two capitals.

  • The contact number ofTraffic control room Srinagar is 01942450022 and
  • The contact number ofTraffic control room Jammu is 01942459048.

These numbers help the people to get latest updates on the conditions of the highway and help them to postpone their journey in case of bad weather.[4]

“Nafrat ki deewaron ko gira kar hee dam lengey” (we will rest only after dismantling the walls of hatred), read signposts erected at crossings in Srinagar two years ago by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). No one would have thought that these politically motivated slogans would become reality one day. Today all roads seem to lead to Kaman Post, the last point at the Line of Control (LoC) in the Uri sector, on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road. The length of the road up to Kaman Post from Srinagar is 118.5 km.

The Srinagar-Jhelum Valley road, as it was known then, was the lone dependable connection between Kashmir and the rest of the world until the mid-1950s when the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad, initiated construction of the Jawahar Tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. Until then Srinagar was connected with Jammu by a smaller link called the Banihal Cart Road. When the tribesmen raided Kashmir in 1947, the only bridge near Kaman Post was damaged and repair work was taken up only recently by the armies of India and Pakistan.