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Taking note of traffic violations and accidents during the movement of kanwariyas in the capital, a city court has directed traffic police to “check rampant violations”, while granting compensation to the family of a four-year-old girl who was killed in an accident last year. She was travelling to Haridwar with her parents.
“The number of accidents that occur during the pilgrimage to Uttarakhand, on the occasion of Srawan Shivratri Festival in the month of July-August, point to blatant violation of traffic rules by some of the pilgrims. The same cannot be overlooked. This is a complete mockery of the law, as commercial goods vehicles are permitted to be driven in complete violation of permit conditions and provisions of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act and Rules,” said Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) judge A K Mendiratta.
The girl, Nidhi, had died in July last year after an Innova hit the motorbike on which she was travelling with her family. The accident happened at 1.45 am near Murad Nagar. While Nidhi was killed, her parents suffered serious injuries.
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During the proceedings, the insurance company had claimed that the accident was not caused due to negligence by the Innova driver. Instead, it claimed that Nidhi’s family had violated traffic laws, as there were four people — including the deceased child and her brother — on the motorcycle.
Even as the MACT court granted Rs 50,000 as compensation to Nidhi’s parents, it came down heavily on the devotees and police for traffic violations. “Apart from facilitating the pilgrimage and devotees, authorities are expected to check rampant violation of traffic rules,” said the court. It has directed traffic authorities to prosecute violators by using CCTV footage of cameras installed at various traffic intersections.
“Vehicles carrying kanwars encroach most part of the road width, as devotees run in front of the vehicles and leave little space for other vehicles. The same leads to massive traffic snarls, which in turn leads to severe dislocation and inconvenience. The law cannot be permitted to be flouted merely under the apprehension of a law and order situation. Violators need to be booked and prosecuted under relevant provisions of MV Act,” said the judge.
The judge has also sent a copy of his order to the Delhi police commissioner for compliance, and has asked for an action-taken report.