Jammu: In view of repeated terror strikes along the highway near Sambha, Army has suggested Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir government to shift large part of Kashmir-bound incoming civilian traffic to an alternate route.
The Army made this suggestion in view of the heavy traffic rush on the existing highway which has become a vulnerable target for terrorists.
The army is of the view that Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir government must shift a large chunk of traffic to the Dhar-Udhampur road so that civilian traffic reduces along the international border near Sambha.
If it was not possible to shift the entire traffic to the alternate road, still the vehicles bound for Srinagar could be shifted to the Dhar Udhampur road, an army spokesman said.
Sambha saw a series of terror strikes last year when militants dressed in army uniforms went on a shooting spree along the highway killing civilians and army personnel.
"The shifting of traffic would not only reduce the burden on this highway but would lessen the security burden for the pilgrims to the Amarnath Shrine and Mata Vaisho Devi Shrine," he said.
Sources said that the state governments have also been advised to wave off toll tax on the alternate road for some time, so that drivers are attracted to ply on the Dhar Udhampur road.
Meanwhile the army commander of the Chandimadir based Western Command of the army Lt Gen KJ Singh today visited Pathankot and Jammu for discussion on up-gradation of the Dhar Udhampur road with the civil administration of the two states, sources said.
"The Army Commander had discussion with civil administration officials of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab government on up-gradation of roads, in particular the Dhar-Udhampur road, which will subsequently usher in socio economic development of the area," the source said.
Confirming the visit of western army commander Lt Gen KJ Singh, the Jammu based Defense spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said, "Yes during his visit, the General Officer took stock of the various development projects being undertaken by Border Roads Task Force of Project Sampark of Border Roads Organization".
He said that chief engineer, Project Sampark, Brig B Bhattacharya briefed the Army Commander on the details about the road widening and road infrastructure development projects.
"The Army Commander also reemphasised to the civil administration for early acquisition of land that is required by the Army for its projects," he said.