J&K High Court express concern over frequent road accidents in UT

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Orders constitution of an Expert Committee for visiting vulnerable spots on NH-44, NH-244 & Mughal Road

JAMMU, DECEMBER 7: A Division Bench of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh comprising Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi while taking serious note of frequent road accidents at Mughal Road, Batote-Doda-Kishtwar stretch and Ramban directed the Constitution of an Expert Committee consisting of a Professor from IIT Jammu having expertise in Road Safety, an Engineer to be nominated by the Chief Engineer SAMPARK, an Executive Engineer to be nominated by the Chief Engineer PWD(R&B), Jammu and Prof.(Dr.) G.M. Bhat- Former HOD of the Department of Geology, University of Jammu who is an acclaimed Expert in Land Slides on National Highways.

The Division Bench further directed that Divisional Commissioner, Jammu who is already appointed as Nodal Officer in this PIL will coordinate the functioning of the Expert Committee. The Expert Committee has been directed to visit and inspect NH-44, NH-244 & Mughal Road and to ascertain the causes and reasons for frequent road accidents.

These significant directions were issued on three PILs filed by Intikhab Ahmed Qazi, Bar Association Doda and Asif Iqbal Bhat highlighting frequent Road Accidents and Dance of Death in Pir Panchal and Chenab Region.

Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, Syed Asim Hashmi, Rahul Raina, Supriya Chouhan, M. Zulkarnain Chowdhary, Suraj Singh, Syed Majid Shah and Adnan Mushtaq Jaral appeared for the petitioners whereas Advocate Vishal Sharma, DSGI and Sr. AAG S. S. Nanda appeared for U.O.I and Govt. of J&K.

The Expert Committee has been directed to submit its report by or before the first week of February, 2024. The PIL will come up for further proceedings on February 13th, 2024.

Last month, at least 37 passengers had died after a bus fell into a deep gorge in Doda district.