Srinagar: As common people go through torturous time navigating a way through pot-holed and damaged roads across the Kashmir valley, the J&K high court has directed Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir to remain present before it to “explain” the condition of the roads.
“Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir be present on next date to explain the condition of the roads and steps taken (for improving their condition),” ordered a division bench headed by Justice R. Sudhakar while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Civil Society Tral.
The civil society had initially sought directions for repairing the National Highway from Jammu to Srinagar especially from Banlhal to Srinagar and Srinagar to Baramulla. However, the court widened the scope of the petition to encompass roads in the valley.
In one of the status reports, J&K’s Inspector General of Police Traffic had stated that whatever traffic mess taking place, it is because of the dilapidated roads.
“Dilapidated condition of the road leads to slow traffic movement which causes frequent traffic jams,” the IGP had informed the high court in compliance to its directions.
“It is pertinent to mention here that whatever traffic mess taking place, it is because of the dilapidated roads, which were damaged due to the floods of (2014) and the (last years) rains have worsened the situation further,” the IGP had said, underling that it affects the traffic police’s job to regulate the traffic and avoid jams, causing inconvenience to motorists and general public.
In the PIL, the civil society seeks directions to macadamize the existing old NH1A to make it fit for vehicular traffic to the minimum international and national standards level to the convenience of general public at large.
It also seek directions to the government to constitute a team of experts to have physical spot inspection and conduct survey of NH1A and other link roads of Kashmir valley to assess the gravity of dilapidated condition of the roads and submit a detailed report with complete remedial suggestions in a time bound period.
The civil society also seeks direction for fixing liability of maintenance of the existing HH1A from Jammu to Srinagar for the purposes of maintenance and development, on war footing basis. The court has already directed government to make all roads ‘motor-able’.