SRINAGAR, Jan 4: The High Court has asked Indian Oil Company (IOC) authorities to file status report on laying of regular gas pipeline from Mehsana Bathinda in Punjab to Srinagar via Jammu by the second week of February.
A division bench of the High court comprising of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal has passed the orders in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Kashmir Consumer Welfare Forum versus Commissioner Transport J&K Srinagar.
The court has also asked the counsel of the IOC to explain his stand on the project that was launched some years back but has not taken off. Meanwhile, the counsel for IOC has submitted before the court that LPG dispensing station of the company will be commissioner in Srinagar in April 2016.
The court has also asked the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) to submit fortnightly reports on the progress of work on a seven kilometers road stretch from Parimpora to Shalteng so that it is thrown open for vehicular traffic by May 31, 2016. The divisional commissioner Kashmir has been asked to extend all cooperation to NHAI in this project.
The NHAI has also been asked to file fortnightly report on the progress of work on Qazigund-Srinagar four lane project NH-44 that is scheduled to be completed by July 31, 2016.
The commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation has also been asked to file compliance report with regard to various directions passed on December 15, 2015 related to the corporation.
Failing to file compliance report with regard to various directions passed to him on November 26, 2015 and December 15, 2015, the director information has been asked to appear in person on the next date of hearing in the matter.
Pertinently, ion December 20, 2015, the high court had directed the government to implement 12 suggestions made by the transport commissioner and inspector general of police (traffic) for effective traffic management in the city within 10 days.
“These suggestions shall be deemed to be part of the court order. The state (government) and its authorities are directed to implement all these suggestions (sic),” a division bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey ordered and asked the government to comply by the next date of hearing.
The transport commissioner and IGP traffic had suggested removing all encroachment along roads and footpaths permanently in the city.
They had also suggested revisiting the policy of renewing ‘All J&K Route Permits’ to sumos and other maxi cabs operating in Srinagar so that point-to-point routes can be fixed for better regulating these vehicles.
The officers also called for expediting the process of shifting General Bus Stand from Batamaloo, a major traffic bottleneck in the city. The government has already announced to shift the Stand to Parimpora in outskirts of city.
Besides, they had said, additional bus stands need to be identified for better regulation of movement of matadors or mini buses.
“Additional bus stops/ bays need to be identified at different places in Srinagar City to put an end to the practice of pick and drop of passengers from any point in the City,” they said.
They had suggested that non-functional traffic lights shall be made functional and additional traffic lights, wherever required, shall be installed.
“The road dividers of sufficient length need to be erected at all the intersections/crossings (with or without traffic lights) so as to enforce one-way traffic movement at the crossings/intersections. Also zebra crossing/yellow lines need to be marked on all intersections/crossings having traffic lights”.
Additional parking lots and places need to be identified for parking of private cars and two-wheelers particularly in the commercial areas, they said.
“Some educational institutions located in Srinagar city have engaged heavy (52-seater) buses, movement of which also causes traffic jams during peak hours as the road capacity in the city is not adequate enough for movement of such big buses,” they said, asking educational institutions to use only medium sized (maximum 30-seater) buses.
In another suggestion, they had said, roads throughout the city need to be properly maintained on continuous basis for smooth flow of traffic.
They had also advocated a substantial increase in fine for the traffic violations so that it can act as a deterrent for offenders.
The officers said that traffic and motor vehicle department needs to be re-organized and adequate manpower provided to the traffic police as cops in blue are required to be deployed in two shifts of six hours each.
Lastly, they said, traffic booths need to be constructed at crossings and intersections where the cops on duty can temporarily take shelter during rains or snow as well as during long hours of duty. (SB)
2015 Kashmir Despatch