Thursday, July 03, 2008 (15:22:52)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed the Centre, the governments of Sikkim and West Bengal to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the National Highway 31A, the lone road linking Sikkim to rest of the country which is frequently blocked by pro and anti-Gorkhaland supporters.
A Bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir also ordered the organisations, agitating in favour and against the creation of Gorkhaland, not to block traffic or people movement on the highway which is the lifeline of Sikkim.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by a Sikkim resident O P Bhandari seeking directions to governments to ensure safe transportation of essential commodities to the state through the highway which often becomes the venue of protests on the Gorkhaland issue.
The petitioner pleaded that frequent bandhs and strikes in the recent past had badly affected normal life of people in the state and its economy was adversely affected by the ongoing agitation.
"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," Bhandari said. (PTI)