Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to complete the entire project related to the installation of a Simple Approach Lightning System (SALS) at the Srinagar International Airport within six months.
The court was informed by advocate Anil Bhan, representing the AAI, that the SALS installation is in process and the proposal has been sent to the AAI headquarters.
The court directed that the proposal be cleared within two weeks and a report be submitted before the court.
“The lights can help minimize frequent cancellation of flights, especially during winters, at the airport,” the court said.
More than 200 flights were cancelled during the first fortnight of January this year in the absence of an approach lighting system (ALS) to augment the airport’s Instrument Landing System (ILS).
So far as Runway 13, towards Chadoora is concerned, the court has been informed that there is adequate land available with the Air Force. However the runway does not have either an ILS or an ALS in place.
Meanwhile the court observed that brick kilns coming in the line of Airport Runway 31 may operate till November 15 and will have to voluntarily close down by 31 March 2018.
The state counsel informed the court that notices have already been issued to various kiln operators and the process of relocating these kilns is also being considered.
On the previous hearing of the case, the divisional commissioner, Kashmir, and the deputy commissioner, Budgam, were directed to take appropriate steps for the relocation of brick kilns which create hurdles for Runway 31 at the Srinagar airport. The court observed that the presence of brick kilns on Runway 31 adds to the minimum visibility during the October-March period, so the kilns had necessarily to be relocated.
Hearing the PIL, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Alok Aradhe remarked that it is necessary that public issues are addressed so that people live a better life.
Advocate Tahir Shamsi, who represents the AAI and the Indian Air Force, submitted before the court that he has received survey data for examination and is also examining aerial survey. The court directed to that a report be filed within three weeks
The court has already directed the airport authority and the Air Force to take a decision in this regard and report to it.
The PIL was initiated by Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, and on 14 December 2016 the Chief Justice had directed its registration as a suo moto PIL. In this petition, the judge noticed that the AAI has, prima facie, failed to take notice of hardships and difficulties regularly travellers face.