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7,300 vehicles to go off the road in Jammu

By Anil Bhatt in Jammu
November 11, 2005 11:53 IST
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Come New Year and over 7,300 15-year-old commercial vehicles will go off the roads in Jammu following a high court directive to check high pollution levels in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

"As per the directive of Jammu and Kashmir high court in connection with dangerous pollution levels in Jammu, 7,339 commercial vehicles which are over 15-year-old will have to go off the roads in Jammu region by January 1, 2006," Regional Transport Office officials said.

After the high court directive passed on October 28, 2005, "New Year day will bringĀ  bad news for transporters in Jammu and Kashmir," T S Wazir, president of Tranporters' Union said.

Of the 7,339 vehicles, there are 4,814 trucks, 1,152 buses, 580 mini buses, 180 taxis and 613 auto-rickshaws, the officials said.

On the face of it, this is going to be a herculean task for the state government, which is still not ready to take on the challenge, they said adding, but the court directive has to be implimented in letter and spirit.

The court order has forced the lax regional transport office to wake up from its slumber and the office has begun compiling the number of such vehicles against whom action is to be taken.

"We need time to reorganise our transport system in Jammu, where withdrawal of so many vehicles at a time, would result in collapse of public transport setup," Wazir said.

As per figures compiled by the Regional Transport Office, Jammu, at present there are 4,814 trucks in Jammu division which started plying 15-25 years ago. Most of these trucks, running for commercial purposes, ply outside the state too.

Out of these, 1,511 trucks are more than 20 years old and 1,620 trucks are more than 15 years old. Rest of the trucks are 14-15 years old and therefore not exactly within the limits of the court order.

Jammu and Kashmir high court court has ordered, "All the commercial vehicles, which are more than 15-year-old (as per the date of initial registration) shall be replaced under section 83 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and rule 96 of State Motor Vehicles Rrule, 1991, framed there under."

"We will impliment the decision by the dealine as per the court's directive. If this was done in Delhi, why not in Jammu? It will benefit all the people as the old vehicles are the biggest source of pollution in Jammu city," the officials said.

"We are already on the job. The court has given us clear instructions in three aspects. We have started with decongesting the roads in Jammu and Srinagar cities," Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Jammu, Ahafat Watalia said.

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Anil Bhatt in Jammu
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