Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked Director J&K Sports Council to file an affidavit as to why Sumos are being allowed to operate from two huts Tourist Reception Centre here.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir has also asked the director as to why two huts still exist in the erstwhile stand.
The direction by the bench, also comprising Justice Hasnain Massodi, followed submissions during the course of arguments that Sumos were operational near the TRC from a place, which was carved out from the land of J&K Sports Council.
It was also stated that the Sumo stand has been shifted to Panthachowk but two huts are existing there.
The court also sought a status report regarding the fencing of the Sports Stadium land from encroachment.
The direction followed statement by government that the fencing was in progress for which some funds have been released and work will be completed at an earliest.
The court was hearing the PIL—Kashmir Consumer Welfare Forum—seeking streamlining of flawed traffic in Srinagar.
In another direction, the court directed concerned government functionaries to file a report by next date of hearing on May 13 for making Pantha-Chowk bus stand fully operational.
The direction followed suggestion during arguments as to whether it will be feasible to fix the entry point of the Bus Stand while coming from Anantnag to Srinagar near mosque at Pantha Chowk.
In this connection, a team comprising of Superintending Engineer, SDA, Superintending Engineer, PWD, SP Traffic and SHO concerned, has been constituted so as to suggest as to whether by fixing the entry, the Bus stand will be made fully operational and same will ease out the congestion, as pointed out, due to boarding of the passengers by sumos and mini buses on the road side.
Meanwhile, in compliance to the court’s directions in September last year, Srinagar Development Authority filed a report, submitting that no hawker or raldawalas are present inside the Bus Terminal at Pantha Chowk.
It said that PHE department is providing water tankers on daily basis and in view of scarcity of water in the area, SDA has also requested PHE Ground Water Division for utilization of ground water facilities in the stand.
With regard to garbage, the SDA said it is being removed and the process of removal shall be complete within shortest possible time.
The construction of walling and the fencing of bus stand was in process, the SDA said.
Regarding relocation of stone artisans dealing in the old traditional craft, the SDA said that the issue shall be taken up with the District Administration.
About relocation of the workshops, report said, some time was required to enable SDA to have expert advice for ensuring rehabilitation of shopkeepers who are earning their livelihood on the basis of shops allotted. The SDA also informed that use of a bus for selling tea etc has been stopped;
Meanwhile, the bench while as asking SDA to file latest report, allowed request by amicus curie and all other interested to file their response to the earlier report by or before next date of hearing.
The Transport Commissioner also filed a status report, stating that for regulating entry of the buses or sumo vehicles by holding strictly to routes permitted, SDA has allotted different slots of parking stand so as to keep free movement of other vehicles.
For monitoring movement of the buses to the respective routes, the Commissioner said, orders have been issued by RTO Kashmir, to Chief Inspector Board Srinagar for keeping constant vigil in the stand for any wrong entry of mini buses.
Regarding Auto LPG facility, the Commissioner stated that Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. vide letter (October 16, 2013) has informed a dispending outlet in Kashmir valley, feasibility or availability study has already been conducted and in Srinagar, Bab-e-Dam area has been found for the facility.
Regarding taking off the vehicles which attained 25 years upto December 2012 and 2013, it has been stated that the vehicles have to be taken off while vehicles aged between 15 to 25 years have to be subjected to fitness test.