JAMMU, Sept 26: Division Bench of High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul has sought latest status report from the Government regarding the steps taken to improve the condition of Mughal Road.
The direction has been passed in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a practicing lawyer Intakhab Ahmed Qazi highlighting the dilapidated and pathetic condition of Mughal road.
When the PIL came up for hearing, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed appearing for the petitioner submitted that Deputy Advocate General Arshad Majid Malik has filed a comprehensive affidavit of Inspector General of Police (Traffic) J&K which reflects sorry state of affairs with regard to deployment of Traffic Police Personnel on the National Highways as also on the vulnerable roads in the hilly districts of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch.
He pointed out that there are 03 DySPs, 04 DTIs, 01 Sub-Inspector, 11 ASIs, 45 SPOs and 100 others making a total strength of 164 deputed on the National Highway-44 from Salora Udhampur up to Jawahar Tunnel whereas in district Doda there are 39 Traffic Personnel including 01 DySP, 01 Inspector, 01 Sub-Inspector, 01 ASI, 24 SPOs and 11 others.
With regard to Kishtwar district there are 32 Traffic Personnel with 01 Inspector, 01 ASI, 26 SPOs and 04 others. In Ramban there are 96 personnel including 02 DySPs, 02 Inspectors, 01 Sub-Inspector, 06 ASIs, 26 SPOs and 59 others. In Rajouri, there is total strength of 69 personnel with 01 DySP, 02 Inspectors, 02 Sub-Inspectors, 04 ASIs and 60 others. In Poonch, there are 64 personnel deployed with 01 Inspector, 03 Sub-Inspectors, 02 ASIs and 58 others.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that IGP (Traffic) J&K has admitted in his affidavit that there is a paucity of manpower for link roads and the same needs to be strengthened. “in view of the non-regulation of traffic effectively on the historic Mughal Road, 11 young students from Surankote Poonch met with a fatal accident on June 27, 2019 while on picnic and lost their precious lives”, he said, adding “in the offending Tempo Traveller against the sitting capacity of 12, 18 passengers were travelling and the young 11 students died on spot and the remaining seven got grievous injuries”.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that recently the UT Government has announced Rs 47.41 crore for the improvement of the 84.11 KM Mughal Road but there is no visible progress on the ground and appropriate directions be issued to the UT Government to inform the Division Bench about the steps taken towards the improvement/upgradation of the Mughal Road.
After considering the submissions of Advocate Ahmed, the Division Bench directed Senior AAG H A Siddiqui appearing vice Deputy AG A M Malik to place before the Division Bench the latest status report regarding the steps taken with regard to the improvement of the condition of Mughal Road.
The Division Bench further directed the Registry to digitize the entire records of the instant PIL and the same may also be bookmarked so that the same is considered on the next date of hearing.