The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted two weeks’ time to the Chandigarh Administration to work out the modalities for slapping of challans and fines on cyclists jumping traffic lights on city roads which many times result in accidents.
The directions came from the court headed by Justice Rajive Bhalla on Friday when Chandigarh SSP (Traffic) Maneesh Chaudhry informed the court that the traffic police cannot act against the cyclists as there is no provision in the Motor Vehicle Act for taking action against cyclists for violation of traffic rules. He added that though the traffic cops had been guiding the cyclists to use designated cycle tracks, the cyclists can been seen moving on the main roads. Chaudhry, however, told the court that around three years back, the Chandigarh municipal corporation had come up with a policy to fine cycle rickshaw owners jumping red lights but still cyclists do not come under any policy and are violators of traffic rules.
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Justice Bhalla directed the municipal corporation to ensure that cyclists only take cycle tracks and do not come on main roads so that their safety can be secured. The court also directed the chief architect and the chief engineer to come up with some solution to fight the increasing traffic jams in the city, especially from the airport to the Tribune Chowk and from the Transport Chowk to Panchkula Housing Board lights. The court observed that though the construction of flyovers can give some relief from traffic jams, it would take a long time.
Hence the chief architect and the chief engineer should come up with some suggestions to tackle the traffic problem in a short period.
Justice Bhalla pointed out that in the recent past it had been observed that during the VIP movements in the northern sectors of Chandigarh, the traffic comes to a halt which is a harassment for general public. Hence the UT Police should inform the court on the next date of hearing as to what steps they plan to take for relieving the general public from the harassment during the VIP movement.
The court also pulled up the Chandigarh Administration for not complying with the court directions issued around two years back for installation of CCTV cameras at all traffic light points in the city. The SSP (Traffic) informed the court that though the Chandigarh Administration had come out with tenders for installation of CCTV cameras but till date the tender has not been allotted to any company.
He added that since the administration has also relaxed some requirements in the tender, the tender is likely to be allotted to some company soon and the CCTV cameras would be installed. But the court came down heavily on the administration and granted it three weeks’ time to submit its action taken report in the court.
At the same time, the court also sought a report from the municipal corporation about parking violations in markets and open space parkings. The court asked as to what action the corporation takes after it allots parking contracts in the city and whether the corporation ensures that parkings are properly managed by the contractors.
The court directed both the Punjab and Haryana governments to submit their replies about ensuring strict implementation of traffic rules in their jurisdiction.