New Delhi: Railway Board was today directed by the Delhi High Court to consider experts` suggestions on public safety issues for Katra-Qazigund rail link project connecting Jammu to Srinagar after it was alleged that apprehensions about the current alignment have been ignored.
A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed the Railway Board to consider the representation of the petitioner and pass an order within eight weeks as the matter "is in public interest."
The bench also allowed the petitioner Centre For Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) to file fresh representation and submit it before the railway board within a week.
The PIL alleged that the current alignment of the Katra- Qazigund rail link would cause "serious safety problem" for general public and the railway ministry has rejected the experts suggestions for including an alternate alignment.
"Eminent experts, senior railway officials and a high level expert committee have raised concerns over the current alignment which most say overlooks the basic human needs of safety, security and comfort while traveling and makes the entire project unworkable," the PIL said.
Appearing for the petitioner NGO, counsel Prashant Bhushan said "the alternate alignment is totally in consonance with international experience and practice of undertaking railway projects in mountainous and hilly region.
"Overlooking all the concerns, Railway Board under the influence of vested interests has gone ahead with the unsafe and unworkable current alignment even though an alternate alignment is eminently safer," the lawyer alleged.
The lawyer argued that when the speeding trains would navigate the turns in the tunnels in the mountain regions, there would be a serious problem of safety.