Amarnath yatra: High-end CCTVs installed to monitor traffic on J&K highway

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Jammu: Ahead of the beginning of the annual Amarnath yatra, high-end CCTV cameras have been installed along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway to monitor both pilgrimage and regular vehicular traffic, officials said on Tuesday.

The traffic department has installed 10 360-degree CCTV cameras from Udhampur to Banihal in Ramban district, while the police department has placed 60 cameras along the highway to monitor vehicular movement and identify suspicious individuals, they said.

The 52-day pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir is set to start on June 29 and conclude on August 19, as announced by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

“We have installed 10 high-end CCTV cameras at various key points from Udhampur to Banihal to monitor traffic,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Traffic National Highway, Rohit Baskotra, told PTI.

These cameras are positioned at locations, including the Jakhani area of Udhampur, Dalwas, Khoni Nallah, Mehar, Battery Cheshma, Nachlana, Banihal Chowk, Tunnel-5, Shaligadi and Cutpoint, he said.

A control room has been established in Ramban to oversee traffic movement around the clock, Baskotra said.

“The control room monitors the highway 24/7, enhancing our efficiency in managing congestion, traffic jams, and other issues,” the SSP said.

The cameras are strategically placed at points where traffic conditions are particularly problematic and accidents are frequent, he added.

The traffic police have also issued an advisory for drivers on the highway during the Amarnath yatra, emphasising lane driving and warning of heavy fines for traffic violations. Contact numbers for technical support are also provided in case of vehicle breakdowns.

“With the CCTV cameras, if a vehicle breaks down or a traffic jam occurs, it will be visible in the control room, allowing a police team to quickly respond,” Baskotra said.

Special preparations have been made by the traffic police of Ramban and Udhampur to ensure smooth traffic flow on the national highway, a significant challenge during the pilgrimage period, he said.

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