The Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday banned the display of designation or description of office and use of unauthorized emblems on government and private vehicles in Chandigarh.
The division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Amol Rattan Singh during the hearing of a suo moto Public Interest Litigation also ordered that writing of words like the high court, Army, police, press, journalists, chairman, vice chairman on private vehicles is prohibited forthwith. The authorities have been directed to begin implementation of the directions within 72 hours.
The court was of the view that the use of such terms is an attempt to “browbeat” others and observed that the display of designations on vehicles is not permitted under law. However, ambulances and fire tenders are exempted from the ban. As soon as the hearing ended on Friday, the court staff was seen removing the ‘High Court’ sticker from Justice Sharma’s official vehicle.
‘Parking on roadsides’
The court also observed that a lot of “idle parking” is seen on roads and directed Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali authorities to not allow such parking on roads including major and tertiary ones. The court ordered the authorities to start towing away such vehicles.
‘Schools should have two gates’
With regard to lack of two gates in educational institutions, the division bench directed the deputy commissioners of Panchkula and Mohali to convene meetings of all the school heads within three weeks about having at least two gates. The court was earlier told by a counsel that rush of children through a single gate may lead to stampede and there should at least be two gates. After the court was informed that CCTV cameras are not functioning in many of the school buses, the division bench directed the UT Education Secretary, DC Panchkula, and DC Mohali to constitute special teams to check that all the CCTV cameras are functioning.
‘Will hand over the job to others if you can’t’
With Chandigarh Administration stating that the four-month time limit set by court for installation of CCTV with automatic number plate recognition technology and an Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) is not feasible, the court Friday observed that in case the authorities are not able or capable to perform the job, it can hand over the project to any other agency.
While the authorities submitted that a building has to be constructed for ICCC, the court said a building for temporary purposes can be provided for the centre and in the meantime, they should go ahead with laying of cables and installing cameras. The installation of around 2000 cameras with dedicated fiber cables will at least take six months, the court was told. UT Senior Standing Pankaj Jain informed the court that technical bid has been approved and the financial bid is to be approved now, adding the Board of Directors of Smart City Project is to hold a meeting regarding it on January 27. The authorities earlier had sought 18 months for completion of the project.
‘Parking policy to be ready within 90 days’
The court also directed Chandigarh to publish the draft parking policy within 30 days from Friday for the invitation of objections. The public can send their objections or suggestions for the next 30 days and thereafter the policy will be finalized within 30 days. The court, however, added that the final parking policy will be first placed before the court after 80 days. The whole process has to be completed within 90 days.
‘Teach children about traffic rules’
The division bench observed that steps need to be taken to aware children about traffic regulations, adding it can ask the school education boards including the CBSE to requisite steps to include such lessons in the curriculum.
‘Beautify Rose Garden underpass’
The division bench also observed that the Administration should make use of the wall of the underpass connecting Rose Garden and Sector 17. The Court was of the view that a war memorial-like display should be put on the wall or the wall should carry the names of Mahavir Vir Chakra and Param Vir Chakra recipients. However, the court was told that there is already a War Memorial in Chandigarh. The court was of the view that a lot of money has been spent on the underpass and it should be put to good use. Amicus suggested that graffiti could be made on the wall.
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