Issues slew of directions to ‘satisfy collective consciousness of society’’, failure of authorities to discharge their duties ‘painful’
Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday ordered the government authorities to remove all streets vendors from roads and footpaths by May 1.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and BS Walia passed a slew of directions including one to traffic police officers to seize vehicles found parked on the roadside and to release them only on the orders of the high court.
In the first direction, the court directed the divisional commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu, inspectors-general of police (both executive and traffic wings), senior superintendents of police (both executive Jammu/ Srinagar and Traffic), commissioners of Srinagar/Jammu municipal corporation, and vice-chairmen of SDA and JDA to take all necessary steps to make roads available for plying of vehicles only and to remove all street vendors from roadsides and footpaths.
“In default, IGP Kashmir, Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Vice-Chairman SDA, SSP (Traffic) Srinagar, shall, in the first instance, have to appear in person to explain the reasons of failure,” the court said.
The directions followed the court’s observation that the traffic situation in the state was “disturbing” and “messy.”
In the second direction, the divisional commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu and the chief engineers of R&B Kashmir as well as Jammu have been asked to take all steps for constructing bus stops and installing signs for them.
“Inspector general of police (Traffic) J&K, and the SSP (Traffic) Srinagar/Jammu shall ensure that the passenger vehicles will stop only at the designated bus stops,” the court said, observing that the ‘bus stop of choice’ of autos, Sumos, mini buses, and bus drivers was causing hurdles in traffic movement.
The court also directed the government to identify and abolish unregistered auto and Sumo stands across the length and breadth of the state, terming their presence as “alarming and most disturbing”.
In the last direction, the court ordered the IGPs of Jammu and Srinagar as well as IGPs and SSPs of Traffic (both Jammu and Kashmir) to ensure that no vehicle is allowed to be parked at any place other than the designated parking slots.
“The vehicles found parked on the roadside shall be seized and released only on the orders of this court,” the bench said, and directed that the compliance of these directions be completed by May 1.
“The chief secretary of the state and the director-general of police shall personally ensure that the directions are implemented on ground and no laxity is shown in the matter,” the court added.
Before passing these directions, the court observed that the success of societal progress mainly relates to the disciplined approach towards life by its inhabitants.
“This is the first thing that every one of us is taught. Our progress too would depend on the amount of discipline we show in every aspect of our life and the four major concerns as cited above are not out of this purview. It is the lack of discipline only that roads are used for street vending; for parking of the vehicles; for running auto, Sumo stands or to stop the vehicles in the middle of the road,” the court said.
The court termed the conduct of the authorities as “indiscipline for “acting indifferent towards such grave issues, for the disciplined souls neither do any harm to the society nor allow anyone else to do that.”
“One does not understand as to why the concerned authorities do not move and discharge their duties of their own. They seem to have got the feeling that they are obliged to do an official act only on the intervention of this court. Painfully we put it on record that it is because of the apparent failure of the authorities to discharge their duties that this Court has to intervene,” the court said.