To de-escalate traffic at Pantha Chowk, NIT experts to re-visit suggestions
SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has issued notice to General Manager, Indian Oil Corporation Jammu on making available the CNG and LPG fuel outlets for switching of 20,000 autos plying in Srinagar city.
The notice, seeking response by the manager, was issued by a division bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and B S Walia after the IoC counsel, Anil Bhan was not present during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation. In latest direction about the issue, the high court on March 20 had directed the counsel to file response for making available the CNG and LPG fuel to the autos for achieving the object of switching over.
Meanwhile, the Transport Commissioner in a compliance report stated that he has issued directions to the Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir to explain why TATA 407 Mini Buses with squeezed leg space or insufficient seating are plying and submit the report about the action taken against such violators by April 15.
“Here again there is no explanation either with the compliance report of the Transport Commissioner or separately having been filed by the RTO Kashmir to this effect,” the court observed.
Advocates Ateeb Kanth and H Amaan Ali, assisting counsel to Amicus Curie, submitted certain photographs after visiting various places including the commercial hubs like Lal Chowk and Batmaloo.
“The position that these photographs depict is very bad,” the court said and gave a set of the photographs to Advocate General for his response.
Regarding suggestions of the experts of NIT Srinagar for the de-escalation of traffic at Pantha Chowk, the IGP (traffic) has suggested that the matter needs to be examined by the experts of NIT Srinagar again to ascertain the feasibility in light of the fact that the Pantha Chowk was not a 4-way but a 3-way junction. Therefore, some more time was sought by the Inspector General of Police (Traffic) to take up the matter with the experts and the high court asked the officer to the needful by the next date on May 15.
About the steps taken by the SDA for protecting the General Bus Stand Pantha Chowk from encroachments, the Vice Chairman SDA submitted that there was no encroachment and the requisite staff has been posted there to keep a strict vigil.
However, amicus curie, advocate JH Reshi suggested that in order to ensure that no encroachment is made at the bus stand, the SDA can protect it by making some concrete fencing.
“Let Vice Chairman file his response to the suggestion of the Amicus by the next date,” the court said.
Regarding completion of road projects of key importance, the Court on previous date had asked the Project Director, NHA1 and Chief Engineer, BRO, to file fresh status report, indicating specifically the dates as regards their completion. But no report filed and assistant Solicitor General Tahir Majid Shamsi and advocate NA Baba, counsel appearing on behalf of NHA1, sought some time to file compliance which was granted by the court with a direction to file it by the next date of hearing in the PIL without fail.
Regarding removing of ditches and other impediments within the city of Srinagar, the Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir stated that a good progress has been made.
He stated that as and when the weather improves and reaches the optimum temperature of around 25 degree Celsius, the black-topping of ‘metalled ditches and potholes’ would be taken care of.