HC seeks report on Sgr Airport

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 25: The High Court today directed the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to report to the court on the next date with regard to the up-gradation of the Srinagar Airport.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta in this connection directed the AAI counsel to ascertain the position with regard to the up-gradation of the Srinagar Airport and file a latest status report before the next date of hearing as also to ensure that all measures as are essential for enabling access to the airports as well as aircrafts and all other facilities are provided at the airports.
AAI has to cause a disability access to the airports of the J&K including Srinagar airport and to make the airports completely accessible to the differently abled. The earlier report filed by the AAI reveals non- compliance of court orders passed with regard to disability access in all the three Airports as no disability access audit has been undertaken as was directed.
Airport Authority of India is under specific directions to comply with the directions passed earlier and has to comply in respect of all the three Airports of Srinagar, Jammu and Leh.
Court on May 14 had directed the Airport Directors of Srinagar, Jammu as well as Leh and the Airport Authority of India to coordinate with Nipun Malhotra (NGO) and cause a disability access audit of the three Airports.
The Airport Authority of India has also to ensure the facilities in the nature of Ambu-Lifts or any other facility available to enable disabled passengers to disembark from the aircraft to the tarmac.
Counsel representing Indian Air Force submitted before the bench that some more time is needed for filing the report on behalf of the Indian Air Force and on his request court granted him four weeks time to do so.
The issue involved in the instant plea has been initiated by the court and has treated as suo-moto in view of public interest. While taking cognizance of the issue, court noticed that the Airport Authority of India has, prima facie, failed to take notice of hardships and difficulties being regularly faced by the people, who travel to and fro Kashmir by air.