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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Chandigarh: Punjab and Haryana High Court pushes for smooth traffic management, issues slew of directions

Directs that school buses should be treated on a par with ambulances and fire tenders

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: January 18, 2020 11:16:35 am
Punjab and Haryana High Court pushes for smooth traffic management, issues slew of directions While seeking a traffic plan within 15 days from Panchkula and Mohali, the court directed the Chandigarh Administration to place its draft parking policy before the court on Tuesday. (Representational Image)

IN A matter regarding traffic management in the city, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday issued a multitude of directions to the Chandigarh Administration for installation of CCTV cameras on major intersections, re-carpeting of roads, safety of schoolchildren, setting up of bicycle stations, installation of lights on cycle tracks and installation of dashboard cameras in ambulances. While seeking a traffic plan within 15 days from Panchkula and Mohali, the court also directed the Chandigarh Administration to place its draft parking policy before the court on Tuesday.

The directions were passed by a division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Amol Rattan Singh during the resumed hearing of a suo motu case regarding condition of cycle tracks and pedestrian paths, and violations of traffic rules.

The court Friday ordered that the school buses will be given preference on a par with ambulances and fire tenders, and observed that all VVIP convoys should use the road at convenient times but not during rush hours like 8 to 10 am or 4-6 pm because most of the time even ambulances get stuck in traffic jams.

In the order, the court said it hopes that ambulances are given preference during VVIP movement and they are not unnecessarily made to stop in traffic jams. The court also said school buses also must be given preference during the VVIP movement and directed the authorities to ensure minimum inconvenience is caused to public at such a time.

The UT has been directed to ensure that all the seats in school buses are fitted with seat belts within a period of six months. The UT Transport Secretary has also been asked to convene a meeting with the heads of all the educational institutions to ensure implementation.

With regard to Panchkula and Mohali, the court on Friday addressing the counsel representing Punjab and Haryana asked, “What are you doing at all?” The authorities of Panchkula and Mohali have been directed to submit a plan regarding the traffic management before the court within a period of 15 days. The plan has to be submitted regarding the whole districts and not mere city areas.

Observing that the number of accidents in the Tricity are on the rise and one of the major causes is the indiscriminate use of mobile phones while driving, the authorities have been asked to ensure that strict action is taken. SSPs (Traffic) of the Tricity have also been directed to launch a drive to check the tendency of usage of phones. It was also made clear that no person is permitted to park a vehicle on cycle tracks or pedestrian paths.

Bad roads to autos, court covers everything

Roads filled with potholes

The court Friday observed that the roads, especially tertiary ones, are not in a good condition and asked the Administration about the plan to repair or re-carpet them. Senior Standing Counsel Pankaj Jain submitted the same is possible only after the end of winter season.

Taking a judicial note of the condition of roads in the city, the court observed that every citizen has a right to use the roads and they are required to be kept in a good condition. The Administration has been directed to re-carpet the main roads within a period of three months from March 1 and tertiary roads within four months. Regarding the pedestrian paths, the court has directed the authorities to take corrective measures immediately. The court observed that beyond Sector 4, the pedestrian paths are not in a good condition to ensure a smooth movement for wheel chairs.

Appreciating the Administration for its efforts towards developing the cycle tracks, the court Friday said the same are well-lit across the world and directed the authorities to provide lighting on the cycle tracks throughout Chandigarh within a period of six months.

Installation of CCTV cameras on road intersections

The UT Administration Friday submitted before the court that 105 intersections are to be covered under automatic number-plate recognition technology and an Integrated Command and Control Centre is to be set up to connect them to a single server. The same will take 18 months’ time beginning from March 2020 and the work has to be done by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). There are 87 cameras working on 20 intersections at present.

Questioning the time period of 18 months, the court on Friday issued a notice to the BEL and also directed the UT Administration to ensure that the installation takes place within a period of four months by holding parleys with the BEL.

Ferrying of more than 4 children in autos banned

Taking judicial note of the fact that schoolchildren, including toddlers, are ferried in three-wheelers in an overcrowded manner, the court said it puts the life of children at risk with even a possibility of them falling down. Observing that it is duty of everyone to ensure a safe travel for children from home to school, the court banned carrying of more than four children in an auto-rickshaw. The Traffic SSP has been directed to ensure compliance with the order and also that auto-rickshaws are made to prominently display that schoolchildren are in the autos.

Docking stations for bicycles

The Administration has decided to install 607 docking stations for bicycles in the city for holding 5,000 bicycles and informed the court that the project will be implemented in 18 months. However, the court directed the authorities to complete the tender process, which has already been initiated, within a period of one month and thereafter complete the project within a period of one year.

Dashboard in ambulances

It is gonna cost you if you don’t give way to the ambulances! In pursuance with the Chandigarh Traffic Police’s own proposal regarding installation of dashboard cameras in ambulances, the court directed the authorities to install the dashboard cameras within a period of three months.

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