Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sikkim resident moves SC against highway blockade

Wed, Jun 25 09:31 PM

A Sikkim resident has moved the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre to ensure safe transportation of essential commodities to the state through National Highway 31A, the lone road that connects the state to the rest of the country, which is frequently blocked by 'Gorkahland' supporters.

The apex court shall hear the application on Thursday.

A vacation bench headed by Justice Altmus Kabir agreed to give urgent hearing to the application filed by a Sikkim resident alleging that frequent bandhs and strikes in the recent past have hit movement of vehicles on the highway.

Senior Advocate P H Parekh, while mentioning the matter before the bench, contended that normal life in the State has been adversely affected because of the ongoing agitation over 'Gorkhaland' and there was an urgent need to ensure the safe movement of the essential commodities on the highway.

"Sikkim is a land locked state surrounded by three foreign countries and National Highway 31A is the only road connecting the state to the country. The ongoing agitations have disrupted the supply of essential commodities as it is highly dependent on other states," Parekh said.

He contended that the government should take help from the Army and para-military forces to remove the blockade on NH 31A.