During a brief hearing in the case regarding the proposed Tribune Chowk flyover before the Punjab and Haryana High Court Wednesday, the counsels representing different parties submitted that a public hearing held by the UT Administration to seek feedback about the project was a “farce” and many people were humiliated by the administration there.
In pursuance of the court directions that the authorities seek feedback from public regarding the project, the UT Administration in December 2019 had held a public hearing.
The high court in November also had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of UT Advisor and Punjab and Haryana’s secretary-rank officers as members, to find alternative solutions to traffic congestion in the city. Until further orders, a stay on planned cutting of around 472 trees for the flyover was also ordered.
Senior Advocate Puneet Bali, who represents the petitioner The Run Club in the case before high court, submitted that the public hearing was a “farce” as people were humiliated during the meeting, adding it should have been video recorded. Submitting that the people were almost ridiculed, Bali also apprised the court that the heritage committee members and Chief Architect were not present in the meeting. Describing the public hearing, Bali submitted that the officers acted both as “prosecutors and judge”.
Senior Advocate Reeta Kohli also spoke before the bench and submitted that the administration already has its mind to go ahead with the flyover and they were not looking for alternatives at the public hearing. Senior Advocate Manmohan Lal Sarin and many other city residents were also present before the bench and in courtroom to speak regarding the project.
However, the division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli adjourned the matter for next hearing on March 26 as the UT Chandigarh sought time to file reply before the court. UT Senior Standing Counsel Pankaj Jain, regarding the statements made by the counsels before court, submitted they were speaking beyond record.