HC directs SMC to stop encroachment of pavements

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Feb 13:  Taking serious note of traffic congestion and irregularities in traffic management, High Court today directed Srinagar Municipal Corporation to stop the encroachments on pavements and take action against the violators.
The Division Bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed the SMC to stop the menace of encroachments by shopkeepers on pavements. “We impress upon SMC authorities in particular the Commissioner to ensure that anti encroachment squad discharges duties with dedication and commitment so that the menace of extending shops on the pavement by the shopkeepers is totally stopped and a strict action is taken”, DB directed.
Court said, “if on the next date of hearing the position is not brought to the notice of the court then Chief Enforcement Officer, SMC shall have to remain personally present  and explain as to how it is happening.”
With regard to the color coding of vehicles for different routes, DB has been informed that once it is introduced and operated, it shall be easy to identify the vehicle which are plying in violation to the permission and action of seizure and fine will follow.
Court directed Assistant Regional Transport Officer to impress upon concerned President of Sumo-Taxi owners to furnish the list of the registered Sumo and Taxi Cabs, which are plying on different routes and in default he must take swift action which may include seizure of the vehicle.
Srinagar Municipal Corporation stated that its enforcement wing had continued the anti-encroachment drive against the street vendors and the shopkeepers in the Central Business District (CBD) and Pantha Chowk, areas  under the supervision of Anti Encroachment Officers headed by the Chief Enforcement Officer.
“Numerous street vendors had been removed from the roads and pavements in and around Jehangir Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Naaz Crossing, Batmaloo and also from Residency Road, Poloview, Lambert Lane, Abi Guzar, Amira Kadal, Regal Chowk etc”, reads the report of SMC.
Srinagar Development Authority was directed to extend all possible help to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation in the anti encroachment drive and to ensure that the trade is not allowed on the footpaths and on roadside anywhere in the city of Srinagar.
Advocate Ateeb Kanth, who  is assisting the amicus in the PIL in his report states that even at present it is clear to everyone that in the adjacent areas like Hari Singh High Street, Jehangir Chowk and other areas, street vendors are occupying the pavements and are doing business on the road.
He says that the already existing shopkeepers have kept their merchandize on the pavements,  however, no  action  has been taken.