HC sticks to Batmaloo bus stand shifting

HC sticks to Batmaloo bus stand shifting

Pulls up police for failure in traffic management, PCB for not minimizing noise pollution

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday maintained that the sealing order on Batmaloo Bus stand would not be revoked in larger public interest. The court said the bus stand has to be removed because it suits the public interest.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Alok Aradhe directed the traffic police Srinagar and Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to ensure no bus operates from Batmaloo and also directed IGP Kashmir to provide police assistance to the authorities.

On previous occasion, the court had asked court commissioner advocate Ateeb Kanth to conduct a visit to both the yards and file status report.

Advocate Ateeb, in his report stated that vehicles were operating from outside the premises and have caused huge traffic congestion. “The buses, mini buses and taxi cabs are kept on roads which hampers the smooth traffic movement,” said the report.

The report further said that the Parimpora bus stand has organized spacing and can accommodate more buses than Batmaloo stand.

“Batmaloo bus stand should be clear of all buses. No buses except the state-owned buses are visible in Parimpora stand. It is obvious that they must be operating from Batmaloo,” said the court.

Advocate Nazir Ahmed Ronga pleaded that the shifting of the bus stand will be a major setback to the shopkeepers who won’t be able to do business.

“Parimpora has 57 kanals. Out of which, 49 kanals have been given to 900 buses. What about the trucks, mini-buses and cabs? There are no facilities at Parimpora stand,” Advocate Ronga pleaded.

Justice Durrez said, “Batmaloo bus stand is not a recognized bus stand now and is illegal.” Based on the plea the court directed advocate Ateeb to conduct another visit to both the bus stands and file a fresh report.

The shifting of bus stand from Batmaloo to Parimpora was part of the city’s traffic decongestion plan given by the then SSP traffic.

The other points mentioned in decongestion plan were removal of road encroachments by the SMC, installation of intelligent traffic management system, creation of paid parking zones, expediting the work on Rambagh flyover, expediting construction work on alternate bridge to Abdullah Bridge, expediting construction work on Cement Bridge, usage of immobilizers for traffic routes, segregation of inter-city and intra-city traffic, removal of structures that have created a bottleneck at Qamarwari Chowk, commercialization of residential areas to be stopped and restored to actual position and labor commissioner to enforce the slated holidays of different markets and trade markets on different days of the week.

With regard to encroachment on roads by vendors, SMC submitted the photographs of the encroachment drives taken. Court directed SMC to conduct more drives in other areas including Pantha Chowk.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir was also directed to take appropriate steps regarding the removal of structures at Qamarwari Chowk.

The court also observed that as per Motor Vehicle Act, signages are not properly planted at silent zones.

SSP traffic was directed to identify silent zones and SMC was told to post signages.

It was also observed that there has been no improvement in noise pollution. The court directed State Pollution Control Board to take appropriate steps to minimize the noise pollution level to permissible limits.