HC sore over heightened noise pollution, traffic mess in Srinagar

HC sore over heightened noise pollution, traffic mess in Srinagar
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SRINAGAR: Noise pollution level in Srinagar city has gone beyond the permissible limits, the State pollution control Board (SPCB) informed the Jammu and Kashmir High court on Monday.
The Board in a report submitted before the court said that the pollution has increased even at the ‘silent zones’ including schools, colleges and hospitals.
In the summer capital city, the least noise has been recorded at Sri Pratap College’s main gate with 56dB during day time and 42 dB during night time, while as highest has been recorded at SMHS Hospital main gate with 81dB during day time and 60 dB during night time.
As per the Noise Control and Regulation rules Act 2000, the permissible level of noise at silent zones during day time should be 50 decibel (dB) during day time and 40 dB during night time.
The court observed that despite its previous orders, there has been no decline in the noise level in the city and ordered the SPCB to highlight the measures in the next status report.
The division bench comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta directed the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to comply with the court directions properly and put forth suggestions and measures for bringing down noise pollution in the city.
While hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding the traffic decongestion in city, the court observed that the reports filed by SSP Traffic Srinagar and court commissioner Advocate Ateeb Kanth were contradictory.
The report filed by SSP traffic states that Bus stand Batmaloo is cleared of all buses and no buses are allowed to operate from the bus stand while as the report submitted by the court commissioner Ateeb Kanth states that mini-buses and sumos were still operating from Batamaloo.
The Court Commissioner’s report states that the purpose for which the Batmaloo Bus Stand was shifted is completely lost because the passengers board and de-board the vehicles on the roadside of erstwhile Batamaloo Bus Stand area which is adding to the traffic woes.
“Many vehicles are parked on the road leading to Qamarwari and Mominabad. The encroachment by shopkeepers and wrong parking has further caused congestion,” said the report.
The court directed the SSP traffic to take measures for the smooth flow of traffic.
Assistant Regional Transport Officer, Srinagar was asked to provide list of all sumos and cabs to SSP Traffic and SSP Rural within one week so that traffic authorities would not let any sumo to move beyond the point of permission and ensured that the vehicles are color coded for identification.
For the installation of signage, the report states that SSP Traffic Srinagar has approved two out of six traffic signages. As many as 39 spots have been identified for ‘No Parking Zone’ and ‘No Horn Zone’ signage.
The court directed the “hassle- free and time bound” coordination between the departments for the signage.
Regarding the parking policy, the status report said that a plan is devised to create a parallel road parking slots alongside the main roads in the Srinagar city for smooth plying of vehicular traffic.
“Approximately 1726 parking spaces have been identified for such purpose,” the report said.


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