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Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court closes PIL related to traffic congestion in Jammu

04:43 PM Dec 05, 2022 IST | India Legal
jammu   kashmir and ladakh high court closes pil related to traffic congestion in jammu
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The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court hopes and trust that the authorities will ensure completion of projects for the convenience of public and for de-congestion of traffic in Jammu city.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul closed a PIL highlighting the traffic congestion prevalent in the city of Jammu.

Before the High Court, the respondents have given details about the approach for widening of the roads (in particular Amphalla-Jail Road-New Plot Road-Janipura Road as also the connecting B. C. Road) from 2007-2008 at the project cost of Rs 18.04 crore, as also for the construction of flyover projects.

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The Bench noted that the Respondents from time to time had taken stand that the subject matter of widening of roads, construction of flyovers etc falls within the scope and powers of the Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA).

It has been further stated that looking at the traffic problems, widening of the B.C. road was envisaged to make it an 8 lane road. However, since the said project involved acquisition of about 53 Kanals of land as also resettlement and relocation, the same translated into huge costs. The projects for the development of the city have also been stated to be financed by Asian Development Bank (ADB), wherever the land acquisition and resettlement issues are settled on the guidelines issued by the Government from time to time.
During the pendency of the  PIL, the High Court noted  that proposal with regard to widening of B. C. road-Amphalla-New Plot Janipura  road was not reflected in any of the projects on account of reasons stated for involving huge amounts of acquisition and relocation.  

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In terms of order passed on 18.03.2021, the Court sought examination of the issues involved in this PIL with reference to being covered under the Master Plan directly or indirectly or the Smart City Project and the time frame, the issues would be dealt with under the said project.  

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Compliance report stands filed by the respondents, perusal whereof reveals that a detailed report submitted by the Jammu Municipal Corporation to the Principal Secretary to Government Housing and Urban Development Department, Civil Secretariat, Jammu, regarding the various projects under Smart City Plan (SCP).

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In the compliance report, it is stated that there is no proposal under the Jammu Smart City Project for construction of flyover from Shakuntla Chowk-Balwinder Chowk-Amphalla, Jammu connecting Jail Road and New Plot, Janipur. 

D.C. Raina, Advocate General, submits that the Jammu Metrolite under its comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP), includes the development of Bantalab-Greater Kailash-Bari Brahmana Corridor and all the documents related to Jammu Metrolite viz DPRs approved by the Administrative Council (AC), the comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) and the alternative Analysis Report have been forwarded to Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of India for appraisal and funding of the project. 

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The counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that in the event the de-congestion of traffic in the Jammu city is ensured in terms of the Metrolite Project, the petitioners shall also feel satisfied, however, the perusal of the compliance report reveals that same is dependent on the release of funds by the Government of India.

The Court was satisfied with the stand taken by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in consultation with the Government of India, in meeting the requirement of congestion of traffic in the city of Jammu and widening of roads as also the road connectivity as extended to large extent.

‘We feel that the approach adopted by the Government of J&K and Government of India in dealing with the interests of the people shall satisfy the petitioners to the extent they have projected in the PIL,’ the Bench observed.

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