Directs sealing Batamaloo bus stand, clearance of condemned vehicles, scrap heaps
Srinagar: The high court on Wednesday issued directions to the vice chairman of Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) to seal off Batamaloo bus stand. The provincial heads of bureaucracy and police have been asked to assist SDA to ensure sealing of the expansive bus stand.
The SDA chief and commissioner of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) were asked by the court to clear the place from heaps amassed by scrap dealers and condemned vehicles lying scattered across the place. The RTO Kashmir, during his personal appearance in the court informed that the bus stand is officially functional at Parimpora. He referred to the official notification issued under the Motor Vehicles Act that shifted the bus stand from Batamaloo to Parimpora. The observations and clarifications came to fore during hearing of a a Public Interest Litigation. The high court division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey remarked that if the bus stand has been declared illegal, then it should be shifted to the alternate place. The judges said that people should not be made to suffer on account of traffic jams.
“We have to follow what is lawful. We can’t let things go over our heads. Every minute effort is important and everybody has to come forward for this,” chief Justice said. Transport commissioner, SMC commissioner, RTO Kashmir and labour commissioner were present before the court today and presented their reports on the traffic decongestion plan forwarded by SSP Traffic police, Sargun Shukla.
The plan includes ten salient points–complete removal of road encroachments by the SMC, installation of intelligent traffic management system, creation of paid parking zones, expediting the work on Rambagh flyover, expediting construction work on alternate bridge to Abdullah bridge, expediting construction work at cement bridge, usage of immobilisers for traffic routes, segregation of inter-city and intra city traffic, shifting of general bus stand Batmaloo to Parimpora, removal of structures that have created bottleneck at Qamarwari Chowk, commercialisation of residential areas to be stopped and restored to actual position, labour commissioner to enforce the slated holidays of different markets, and trade markets on different days of the week.
While filing the response SMC Commissioner forwarded a report regarding the drive taken up to clean road encroachments and street vendors. He stated that most areas have been covered but the SMC officials were still working on it.
On creation of paid parking zones, the SMC commissioner said that they have to identify spaces before kick-starting a process.
The court asked the authorities to continue its drive and directed the police to facilitate the process.
Meanwhile, the transport commissioner and labour commissioner requested court to grant them more time for filing status report regarding segregation of inter and intra city traffic and trade markets on different days of the week.
The court granted them two weeks time to file the report and make themselves present on next hearing.
The court further directed that J&K ERA and R&B department should file status report regarding the constructions taking place at various points in the city on next date of hearing.
The report of monitoring stations presented before court today indicated that at random ten silent zones in Srinagar noise pollution has increased to 70-75 decibels which in reality it should be 40 decibels maximum.
“The silent zones have been turned into industrial zones, what is the way out,” chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed said.
The court observed that drivers needed to be sensitized and directed the SMC to erect signages forthwith.
Meanwhile Transport commissioner informed court that with respect to issue of pollution under control (PUC) certificates 62 licences have been identified, 12 have been cancelled, 38 have been put under scanner and 12 have been given a go-ahead.
The court also directed divisional Commissioner, Kashmir to convene a meeting with SMC Commissioner, SSP traffic, Chief Engineer R&B and Pollution control Board for action plan on traffic management and report it on next hearing.
The court also directed departments concerned with traffic management to thoroughly go through the Environmental Act 1986, Noise Pollution
Control Act 2000, and the Motor Vehicles Act to better understand how traffic can be managed with minimal effect on the environment.