Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday directed the government to make all roads leading to and within Srinagar “motorable” within ten days. “Generally, it is noticed that due to harsh weather and other circumstances, most of the roads are in a bad condition. Until macadamization process is taken up at an appropriate time, the concerned authorities including Chief Engineer shall ensure that within a period of ten days, on fast track basis, all the main roads connecting Srinagar city are repaired and likewise, all roads within Srinagar city are made motorable by removing all ditches and other impediments within a period of ten days,” a division bench of Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Janak Raj Kotwal said, directing the authorities to file a compliance report.
The bench also directed the transport commissioner to file a report as to how TATA passenger vehicles with “squeezed seats” and “virtually no leg space at all” are allowed to ply on roads across Kashmir. Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, the court directed the transport commissioner to suggest corrective measures to be taken in this regard.
In another directive, the court sought status report from the government on implementation of its earlier directive to identify unauthorised auto rickshaws, sumo taxis and bus stops. The court termed as “disturbing” the non-implementation of its complete ban on 15 to 25-year-old commercial vehicles.
“In this connection, Chairman J&K State Pollution Control Board and IGP Traffic shall file their response suggesting ways and measures that can be taken to change this disturbing situation,” the court said.
The court also directed the Indian Oil Corporation to file its response on availability of CNG and LPG fuel in the Valley.
The directive followed submission by Amicus Curie Jawad Reshi that 20,000 autos plying in Srinagar need to be converted to either CNG or LPG fuel.
In another directive, the court ordered Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation to file a response on problems faced by the general public because of a huge building known as “Dar Building” and some other small buildings standing in the middle of road at Karan Nagar-Kaka Sarai road, “which impede smooth plying of traffic on the vital road leading to SMHS Hospital and SKIMS Soura.”
The court asked IGP Traffic to file suggestions of experts of NIT Srinagar on de-escalation of traffic at Pantha Chowk.
The court also directed Vice Chairman of Srinagar Development Authority to file a response on steps taken to protect the General Bus Stand at Pantha Chowk from encroachments.
It also directed project Director NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) and Chief Engineer BRO (Border Roads Organisation) to file a fresh status report on steps taken to complete road projects of key importance “with dates for completion.”
The court also directed Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of all districts of Kashmir to file status report regarding smoothness of roads and traffic congestion in their respective districts. The officers have been directed to state the measures taken to improve road condition and for decongesting traffic.
The court was hearing a PIL of Kashmir Consumer Welfare Forum Vs Commissioner Transport & others.