The National Green Tribunal took the Delhi Police to task for “making a mess” of its order to remove encroachments in Lajpat Nagar market to smoothen traffic movement.
Warning the police of action if its directions were not followed, a bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, said shopkeepers were sitting on the footpath entirely covering the road and making it difficult for free vehicular movement.
It rapped the Delhi government for not earmarking a designated place for hawkers who were encroaching the streets. “Why don’t you do something? You have made a mess of our order. You have permitted shops on the footpath which have encroached it completely. Nobody should sit on the road. There is triple lane parking in the Lajpat Nagar market. Tell the traffic police that if there is more than single lane parking, we will take action against them. Show us compliance,” the bench said.
The green panel also directed the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to allow a traders’ body of the market to park their vehicles at Kasturba Niketan to reduce the traffic volume. The land, which measures around 5,000 square metres at Kasturba Niketan in the Lajpat Nagar locality, was allotted to the traders’ body by the tribunal in 2015 to minimise traffic congestion.
The tribunal had directed the DUSIB to allot the land as a temporary parking site till a multi-level car lot was constructed by South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). The traders’ body in their plea, filed through advocate Gautam Singh, had said that despite the NGT order, DUSIB issued a show cause notice to it after inspection in September 2016 and later denied permission to the applicant to utilise the space for parking.
Despite numerous letters and representations, DUSIB has not taken any action in this regard which had led the traders to file the petition seeking directions to the DUSIB to earmark the plot and comply with the NGT’s 2015 direction. The petition said that vehicles were being parked on both sides of the metalled road in complete violation of the orders of the tribunal and it was difficult to move on the footpaths which also have been encroached upon.
“As winter and festive season is approaching, non-availability of the said land would result in greater congestion and frequent traffic jams, resulting in rise in air pollution and degradation of ambient air quality,” the plea had said.