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.

 

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)

JAMMU & KASHMIR HIGHWAYS

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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 the 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 the 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 forcefully 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 on March 16, 1846 under the 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 during the reign of Maharaja Partap Singh in the year 1885. the overall technical guidance and supervision were 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 re-numbering 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 lead to closure of highway during winters.[2]

The government of Jammu and Kashmir spends a 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 the 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 the 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.

SRINAGAR – LEH HIGHWAY

National Highway 1D (NH 1D), also known as Srinagar-Leh Highway, is a National Highway entirely within the state of Jammu & Kashmir in North India that connects Srinagar to Leh in Ladakh. It is one of the only two roads that connect Ladakh with the rest of India, the other being Leh-Manali Highway. The Srinagar-Leh Highway was declared as National Highway in 2006

The old Central Asian trade route Srinagar-Leh-Yarkand was also known as the Treaty Road, after a commercial treaty signed in 1870[3] between Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Thomas Douglas Forsyth.

Weather conditions

Heavy snowfall on the highest passes can block traffic, cutting Leh from Srinagar for some six months each year. During springtime, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) plows snow and repairs damages caused by landslides.[5] Zoji La pass received reportedly some 18 m (59 ft) of snowfall in 2008.

Geography

For the most part, NH 1D runs through extremely treacherous terrain and follows the historic trade route along the Indus River, thus giving modern travelers a glimpse of villages which are historically and culturally important.[7] The road generally remains open for traffic from early June to mid-November. The total length of NH 1 is 422 km (262 mi).

The two highest passes on NH 1D include Fotu La at 4,108 m (13,478 ft) elevation and Zoji La at 3,528 m (11,575 ft) elevation.

Between Fotu La pass and Leh, a government checkpoint is stationed in the village of Khalatse.

Dras, located some 170 km (110 mi) from Srinagar at elevation of 3,249 m (10,659 ft), is the first major village over the Zoji La pass. The village is inhabited by a population of mixed Kashmiri and Dard origins, having a reputation of being the second coldest permanent inhabited spot in the world after Siberia, with temperatures dropping to −45 °C (−49 °F).

History

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the road was only a track, impassable even with ponies. Goods, mainly pashmina wool, were carried by porters from Yarkand and Tibet for Kashmir shawl industry.[4]

In the 19th century, the route was improved, allowing pony caravans to pass. This work was started after[4] Dogra General Zorawar Singh conquered Ladakh region from the Sikh Empire during 1836–1840 Trans-Himalayan campaign and princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was formed when the British sold Kashmir to maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 Treaty of Amritsar.

In April 1873, the Kashmir government allocated 2,500 rupees annually for upkeep of the Treaty Road and associated Serais.

During the 1950s, tensions rose in Ladakh region. China secretly built a military road spanning some 1,200 km (750 mi) from Xinjiang to western Tibet, which was discovered by Indian in 1957 and confirmed by Chinese maps showing the road in 1958. The political situation eroded, culminating in 1962 in the Sino-Indian War.

The road on the Chinese side gave PLA an advantage as a reliable supply line, giving the Indian Army impetus to build a road for supply and mobilization of their own troops. The building started from Srinagar in 1962, reaching Kargil in two years. This was the basis of modern Srinagar-Leh Highway. Building the road was a hazardous task, given the challenging geographical location, and maintaining the road is still an unenviable task.

Restrictions on civilian traffic were lifted in 1974.

This highway was used as mobilization route by the Indian Army during Pakistani occupation of Kargil in 1999, known as Operation Vijay

Presented by: Er. M.A.Fazili FIE- Chairman IEIJ&KSC, IEI Council MemberIn All India Workshop on All Weather Roads in Hilly Regions on 29-30 April 2017at Utrakhand State Centre

OUR ROAD HISTORY

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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. 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 tracing out the history of the 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.

b. Mauryan period:
During this period, roads were developed on technical basis specifications were laid down for the width of roads, given to the surface of roads and the convexity of the 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 a 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 milestones along the roadside at regular intervals.

Emperor Ashoka took a special interest in the improvement of roads and provided facilities to the travelers. Such facilities were in the form of the plantation of trees, digging wells and constructing rest houses at about 4.8 to 6.4 km 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 the 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 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 metalled 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 to 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 setback. 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 forefront which created a 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 meager 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:

a. 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 the 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 imposed 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 its 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 the 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 programs.

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 program 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 that were taken by the Government. of India towards the development of roads in the country after independence are described here:

a. 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 in 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 k from a metalled road 2.41 km from any other category of road.

We can hope that better organizational arrangement and through intensive future planning’s, India will not only make up the deficiency in the roads but she will lead many other countries in this respect in near future.

Paper presented at All India Workshop in IEI Jharkhand  State center on 30.04.2017

by

Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE Chairman IEI J&KSC, Council Member IEI

Skewed all along

Standard

Skewed Bridge being skipped!

The earlier much-hyped skewed bridge has been again in the news in GK since last few days. One heading reads that “Govt. brings the twist in ‘skewed bridge plan” stating that after spending Rs. 8 crores on its construction, the J&K government has converted the much-hyped skewed bridge over Jhelum at Rajbagh into a pedestrian bridge under “political consideration.” It is reported that the government had defended its construction in a PIL stating that it would reduce traffic congestion in the city.” Besides, it is stated that “the decision to shelve its construction and convert it into a pedestrian bridge seems fishy” adding that the government has so far spent Rs. 8 crores on erecting its piers and other construction activities besides, it is painful to see public money going down the drain for unknown reasons. The executing agency of the project has reportedly stated that “another bridge will be constructed in the vicinity.”However, it has been reported that the construction of another bridge within few meters from the skewed bridge raises concerns over ill-planning and “bankruptcy of ideas.”Besides, the work is reported to have already started erecting piers for the bridge near a known flood outlet running parallel to Abdullah bridge and passes over J&K Emporium garden opposite Tourist Reception Centre. This bridge is reported to get completed in next two to three years. It is further reported that the officials and civil society members are slamming the government for “mindless” developmental activities at Rajbagh, which could be fatal in times of floods. The conversion of the skewed vehicular bridge to footbridge is reported to incur the loss of crores of rupees to Govt. exchequer.

The skewed bridge has generated lot of controversies for the last few years due to its design. Its target date of completion i.e. December 2014 was rescheduled to June 2017 due to the deluge of September 2014. The cost of construction of the bridge has been estimated to Rs. 12.37 crores and it was projected to reduce the traffic hassle in Srinagar, as currently, the Rajbagh area which is connected to the city centre by Abdullah bridge gets huge traffic. However, some experts had cautioned that the bridge foundation and piers may block water flow in the river. Besides, in spite of the controversies that raged over the proposal of the bridge due to its skewed design, the government announced its construction. It triggered a debate over its developmental benefits and environmental impact on river Jhelum.

Presently concern has been expressed as:

The state government’s decision to construct another bridge adjacent to Abdullah bridge over river Jhelum at Rajbagh would “increase flood threat” in Srinagar and could prove an environmental disaster as the piers and foundations of the new bridge shall act as the barrier in the water flow and can cause massive damage during floods. It was this very site in Rajbagh that was worst hit in September-14 floods. Hence the government must stop its construction as it would enhance flood threat over Rajbagh and other low-lying areas during high water discharge in river Jhelum.

The controversy on the construction of a bridge over river Jhelum in the vicinity has been raising its head since the eighties when the first ever proposal of the then just started convent bridge was got shelved under stiff opposition by the Institution of Engineers led by late Er. S.D.Drabu and the alignment was later shifted to the present Abdullah bridge. The negative points expressed that time were still valid when the skewed bridge was proposed and was again opposed by the engineers as borne out in GK dated November 02,2012 under the heading: “Skewed bridge construction is Dracula’s return from the grave” and GK September 16, 2012 “Engineers criticize skewed bridge, proposed Jehangir Chowk-Ram Bagh flyover” and GK November 15, 2012 “Omar supports skewed bridge”; when the technical opinion was over-ruled by a non-technical Minister.

It is an unhealthy trend in our state that every project gets politicized with the change of guard. Technical opinion from the experts is either being ignored, overruled or not sought for.

Some examples:

  • Inland water transport on river Jhelum (Project Report framed by M/S Rites at a cost of Rs. 25 Lakhs). The experts of international repute recommended the project for implementation being most viable and to be extended later on, on the upstream and downstream of the Srinagar city and other water bodies like Dal lake, Mansbal lake, and Wullar lake. Only green sign-boards were fixed on the de-boarding ghats with a few tiny boats unaffordable by the common passengers as against 50 seated vessel designed by Vishakhapatnam shipping company to serve as an alternative mode of transport to reduce the mounting traffic congestion and frequent traffic jams.
  • Mechanized Compost Plant for Solid Waste Disposal of Srinagar City (only land-fill of Achan wetland was resorted to.) Besides losing a precious wetland it has been a cause of obnoxious stench in the city and neighboring SKIMS hospital.
  • Low-cost sanitation scheme for Srinagar city with UNICEF assistance handed over to SMC- the results are untraceable. This project was aimed at reducing the direct discharge of faecal matter into the open surface drains flowing into the water bodies like river Jhelum, Dal lake etc.
  • Chrar-i-Sharief Development Project started with  HUDCO loan of Rs. 25 crores, returnable after 15 years in easy installments. The project suffered as a non-technical  bureaucrat was put in-charge of the project and the work got stalled.

Again for every construction work on rivers and waterways, it is incumbent on the part of the concerned department/s to undertake the model studies to arrive at the best solutions. This needs to be given serious thought.

In other states/countries a sizable amount is spent for getting the best consultancy and the projects are implemented strictly according to the prescribed drawings and specifications without anyone’s interference. This results into the best end product.

Hence the public needs answers to the queries that appeared in the media like:

  • Why mindless developmental activities are taking place at Rajbagh which could be fatal in times of floods?
  • If the foundations of the skewed bridge were designed and laid for the catering of vehicular traffic, why was the plan shelved after spending a huge amount of money on it?
  • If the Govt. justified in the Hon. court of law the construction of skewed bridge for vehicular traffic, why was the plan reversed now?

The Government needs to come up with answers for the satisfaction of all concerned.Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE Chairman IEI J&KSC