Days before rail track deaths,HC had okayed FOB construction

Last week,the High Court had set aside an earlier order restraining the authorities from building a foot overbridge over railway tracks in Southeast Delhi,where three persons were killed on Saturday.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 27, 2012 1:50 am

Last week,the High Court had set aside an earlier order restraining the authorities from building a foot overbridge over railway tracks in Southeast Delhi,where three persons were killed on Saturday.

The first High Court order,passed in 2006,had stated that a boundary wall should be constructed in Harkesh Nagar instead of a foot overbridge to prevent casualties. However,declaring the solution as “unworkable and impractical”,a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw ruled on Wednesday: “Once it is found that the formula devised earlier has not borne fruit and casualties continue to occur… wisdom now lies in not interfering with the construction of a safe mode of crossing.”

Over five years ago,a group of shopkeepers had succeeded in halting construction work by claiming ownership of the site. On Wednesday,the High Court upheld a single judge’s January 31 order dismissing their plea.

“The Railways deemed it necessary,in the interest of safety of the public residing in neighbourhood of the tracks,to construct a foot overbridge at the said site…” the bench said,rejecting the petitioner’s contention that it should dismiss the plea for construction a second time. “The Railways’ stand in the earlier writ petition was as per the then situation. However,if the experience of five years has shown anything,it’s that the railway tracks at the said place cannot be continuously manned… no error can be found in the said decision,” it said.

The court accepted the Railways’ argument that the petitioners’ shops are within the boundary of railway land and,hence,amounted to being “unauthorised occupation and encroachment”. The boundary wall was broken down at various points by residents who wanted to take a short cut by crossing the railway tracks. “This court cannot… disregard the interest of the general public and other residents of the colony,” the bench said.

While three persons were crushed by a train on Saturday,a fourth was injured.

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