HC raps SDA for not implementing orders

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, July 22: High Court today rapped the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) for violating the directions of the court regarding stopping commercial activity at Pantha Chowk bus stand area.
A Division Bench of High Court comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice DS Thakur, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation titled Kashmir Consumer Welfare Forum versus Commissioner Transport and others,  directed the SDA that no hawker or raidawalla should be allowed inside the bus stand to carry on their commercial activity.
The court also constituted a two-member team of lawyers to undertake checking at the bus stand for a period of 4 weeks beginning from next month to ensure that SDA implements the court’s direction and look into any violation by hawkers and raidawallas.
The DB also issued directions to the Planning Department to release funds required for fencing and erecting a wall around the bus stand. In case the department fails to release funds, the court ordered that Secretary of the Planning Department shall in his presence explain why funds were not released.
On the issue of introducing CNG stations each in Jammu and Srinagar, the court directed the Government to explore the possibilities of introducing hybrid and CNG-run vehicles in the state.
The court also directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, through Advocate General MI Qadri,  to tender an explanation as to why it delayed the court’s order regarding shifting of Sumo-Taxi stand at TRC to Pantha Chowk bus stand.
“Both, Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, shall file an affidavit in this regard, failing which contempt proceedings shall be initiated against them,” the court said.
Amicus Curie advocate J H Reshi during the arguments said that the Government has given exaggerated figures in its status report on the old vehicles in the state, which have been banned by the court in 2005.
He submitted that at least 8,000 and 6,000 such vehicles are plying in Jammu and Srinagar cities respectively.
The court also issued notice to the Chairman National Highway Authority of India to file his response.
The SDA was represented by Advocate Javed Iqbal in the court.

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