Displeased to know that the work on the dedicated non-motor vehicle (NMV) lanes in the city had not been done despite court orders, two judges of the Delhi High Court on Thursday said that they may be “inspecting one of the roads where the NMV lanes were proposed to be set up” to segregate various kinds of traffic.
The court of Justices Ravindra Bhat and Murlidhar had last year issued directions to the Delhi and Central government to come up with a plan to decongest Old Delhi, and introduce NMV lanes in the capital to get rid of traffic snarls caused by mixed traffic. The directions had come on a PIL field by the NGO Manushi Sangathan in 2007.
The Delhi government had identified six arterial roads, including Chandni Chowk, Vikas Marg, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Marg and Bhishma Pitamah Marg to introduce the pilot projects.
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During the hearing on Thursday, advocate Indira Unninayar, appearing for the NGO, told the court that “piecemeal” work had been done in the city for creating NMV lanes.
The court then commented that they would “visit one of the roads” to see for themselves whether the work was being done. The court has also directed the city government to place on record recent pictures and maps of areas where such lanes are actually located.
Taking up various issues relating to the decongestion of the traffic in Chandni Chowk, the court also directed the NDMC to remove the encroachments made by religious structures on the main chowk road. The PWD had previously informed the government that the decongestion plan had been stalled as some religious structures had blocked the road.
The PWD told the court that the religious committee had identified encroachments but was yet to remove the encroachments. The court, however, dismissed the argument and observed that it had been admitted that the road was under the jurisdiction of the NDMC, making the agency responsible. The court has now directed that the structures should be removed by end of May.
The judges also accepted Unninayar’s argument that it was “not the court’s responsibility” to look into the issue of removal of every encroachment and electricity transformers in the area”.
The lawyer also argued that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure the work was completed.
Former additional solicitor general of India, A S Chandhiok, appearing for the government in the case, also told the court that the government had undertaken to complete the work expeditiously.