SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has directed the state authorities that Batmaloo Bus Stand should not be used for parking purposes in view of the submissions made by the State Counsel that the said site has been earmarked for construction of the Mini Secretariat.
The direction was passed by the court in a fresh application moved by Senior Counsel Z A Shah submitting that directions passed in order dated 12 September 2018 have not been complied with by the state authorities and taxi-Sumo/ taxi owners have been allowed to park their vehicles in the aforesaid location.
Meanwhile, the contention raised by Counsel Shah was vehemently refuted by State Counsel B A Dar by stating before court that nobody has been permitted to park their vehicles in the specified place. He further submitted that the site is earmarked for raising the construction of the Mini-Secretariat only and no vehicle whatsoever shall be permitted to be parked there.
The Division Bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar and Justice Sindhu Sharma remarked while taking the statement of the State Counsel on record that in view of the matter, there is no requirement to pass any further order except that the specified place identified for the construction of the Mini-Secretariat shall not be utilised for any parking purpose.
Meanwhile, the court also directed the state authorities to comply with the directions passed by the court on 22 October 2018 in view of the suggestions made by Traffic Advisor Anuj Malhotra.
On a previous hearing, the court had directed the authorities to sort out issues like roads being occupied by vendors, wrong parking, parking places, horn honking in prohibited areas, over-loading of passenger vehicles etc.
The court had observed that the presence of vendors on roads and footpaths is causing huge trouble and is an impediment to the plying of smooth traffic as also to commuters. The court in this connection directed the Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), to examine the matter by providing vending zones. In case, the court added, such areas are identified, then the SMC will ensure shifting of vendors to such vending zones and further ensure vending is confined to such zones and areas.
Malhotra had apprised the court that for feasible parking on roadsides, there are almost 112 spots available and had identified some of them as being in use. But the staff deputed to those parking slots is not trained, he said, which causes inconvenience to the public. He had then suggested that IT-based parking be introduced to ease out such inconvenience.
On the menace of overloading during peak hours, the court had directed the SSP Traffic to intensify routine checks and get control over the menace. The PIL, as the court has already said, is pending since the year 2003 and raises several questions of significance regarding the issue of traffic in the Kashmir province.