Shimla, Aug 19 (PTI) Taking notice of landslides blocking the roads and causing traffic jams, Himachal Pradesh government today directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to keep Shimla-Parwanoo highway open round the clock during the ongoing apple season. Also Read - Monsoon Session Day 2: Lok Sabha Passes Essential Commodities Bill to Raise Farmer Income, Boost Agri Sector | Highlights

Presiding over a meeting of all the government departments at Solan late last evening, Himachal chief secretary V C Pharka also instructed the NHAI to take into consideration the topography and geological conditions of the hilly state while carrying out the work on four laning of the highway. Also Read - 'Jammu And Kashmir to Reopen For Tourism Soon', Says J&K Administration

“Apple played an important role in the economy of the state and keeping in view the fact that maximum apple boxes are transported through Shimla-Parwanoo highway, it should remain open day and night,” he said. Also Read - COVID-19: Centre Announces Guidelines For Unlock 2, Lockdown Till July 31 in Containment Zones

He also directed the authority to remove construction material unloaded on the roadside on the highway to avoid traffic jams and stressed that while carrying out the work on widening of the highway, it should be ensured that there was no loss to agricultural and other type of lands of the farmers.

The chief secretary directed the SDMs concerned to expeditiously dispose of the land acquisition cases and also asked the district administration to widen the alternative routes constructed for smooth traffic till the construction work of the four-lanning project was completed.

Pharka directed all the departments to utilise the funds under centrally and state sponsored schemes within a time bound manner to ensure that the developmental projects were completed within the stipulated time period.

He asked the education department for construction of separate toilets for boys and girls and ensures availability of clean drinking water in each school.

He also directed the agriculture department to motivate the farmers for setting up poly-houses as there are vast possibilities of producing off-season vegetables and cash crops in the district.

He also asked the Food and Civil Supplies Department to provide digital ration cards to all the ration card holders of the district.

The Chief Secretary took stock of the loss to human lives and property during the current monsoon and directed the district administration to restore drinking water and irrigation schemes and the roads.

It was disclosed in the meeting that Solan district suffered a loss to the tune of Rs 37 crores in the ongoing monsoon season.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.