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Told officials to try wheelchairs to assess ground reality: Delhi HC to SDMC

The court also pulled up the authorities, including police, for not removing vehicles parked on footpaths outside houses in the area.

Delhi High Court (File Photo)

Stating that engineers of the South MCD were required to travel in wheelchairs on Vasant Vihar’s footpaths without any assistance to check their viability, the Delhi High Court Monday said the exercise was not ordered for submission of photographs to the court but to make the officers feel the situation on ground.

It also pulled up the authorities, including police, for not removing vehicles parked on footpaths outside houses in the area.

The court, which had in November directed SDMC engineers to travel on footpaths on a wheelchair without any aid or assistance, after seeing photographs of the exercise, observed, “Pushing him on the wheelchair… is it a part of the duty of the gentleman who is pushing him? The court’s order was not to be assisted by anybody. Let the MCD then depute one person everywhere wherever there are wheelchair-bound. Every house will have one-two people standing there.”

Justice Najmi Waziri said there should be no necessity of pushing wheelchairs on the footpaths and asked authorities to take corrective measures for removal of obstructions. “I don’t know what is the approach. How do you empower a citizen or is this wheelchair-bound citizen a lesser citizen? They have equal rights,” said the court.

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The court also said advertisement boards on the footpaths need to be shifted. “What is important? Movement of people or advertisement board,” asked the court.

The court has passed the order on a contempt petition which alleged that the area around hundreds of trees in Vasant Vihar has been concretised, and sought their preservation. The authorities, including SDMC and PWD, Monday told the court that corrective steps in this regard are being taken.

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