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Govt duty bound to provide food, shelter to stranded commuters: HC.

The High Court on Tuesday sought a report on the status of the upgradation of the old highway from Qazigund to Srinagar.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation by civil society of Tral, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar also held in its “oral observation” that the state government is duty bound to providing food, shelter and medical aid to the passengers stranded along the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

As soon as the matter came up for hearing, advocate GN Shaheen, appearing in the PIL on behalf of civil society Tral, drew attention of the court to the miseries of the stranded commuters.  “I submit to draw attention of the court to the sorry state of affairs the stranded passengers at various places along the highway from Banihal to Ramban are in. For the last 20 days these passengers have been facing untold miseries. Their cries for help go unheeded,” Shaheen said.

Though advocate Shaheen made a submission that the government should be directed to provide food, shelter and other conveniences to the passengers, the court asked him to move an application for the same.

The court, however, observed that the stranded people need to be “indispensably provided at least food, shelter and medical aid”.  In response to the observation, state’s senior advocate general Javid Iqbal said the government has been providing food and shelter to the stranded passengers.

“People living nearby also provide food to the passengers,” he said.

Meanwhile, the court sought the status report from the authorities concerned about up-gradation of the old highway from Qazigund to Srinagar after advocate GN Shaheen submitted that the road needs immediate upgradation at some places.

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