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HC orders no loading, unloading of goods be carried out in Karol Bagh during day

The High Court directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to hold a joint meeting with NDMC Chairman, Traffic Police Commissioner, three additional commissioners of the MCD and chief fire officers to come out with a plan on how to replicate the directions for Karol Bagh in all market areas in the national capital.


HC orders no loading, unloading of goods be carried out in Karol Bagh during day
The court listed the matter for November 14 for passing further directions. (Image Credit: Twitter)

Cracking its whip on illegal parking and encroachments in Karol Bagh market, the Delhi High court has ordered that no loading or unloading of goods be carried out in the area during the day and no vehicle should be illegally parked.

The High Court directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to hold a joint meeting with NDMC Chairman, Traffic Police Commissioner, three additional commissioners of the MCD and chief fire officers to come out with a plan on how to replicate the directions for Karol Bagh in all market areas in the national capital.

Noting that Diwali is on November 7, the court said there is a likelihood of a large number of people visiting marketplaces and in case of traffic on the road is not regulated, "any unforeseen incident could be fatal".

A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Jyoti Singh, taking note of the condition of traffic in the entire Delhi, asked the Joint Commissioner (traffic) to submit a report as to how the Delhi Police propose to regulate the traffic and curb the menace of illegal parking and the traffic violations.

Warning that any violation would lead to strict action, the court directed the SHO concerned, DCP (central), ACP of Karol Bagh zone and DCP (traffic) to ensure that no loading and unloading of goods would be permitted between 11 AM and 8 PM in Karol Bagh market area.

The bench said in case of any violation, disciplinary action will be taken against officers and the court would be "forced" to initiate contempt proceedings against the shopkeepers as they were represented in the hearings.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Neena Narang, a resident of the area, regarding problems created on account of parking in almost three out of four lanes in one direction on the roads in Karol Bagh, leaving only a single lane for the movement of traffic.

The court agreed with the suggestion of advocate Satyajit Sarna, appearing for Narang, and another petitioner, Paardarshita NGO's general secretary Harkrishan Das Nijhawan, that no loading and unloading of goods should be permitted from 11 AM to 8 PM which was supported by the Delhi Police.

The bench made part of record certain photographs of the area, saying nothing better than these pictures could explain the situation and said it was of the view that the situation demands stringent measures to be taken for those who violate the court order.

"Any change is not easy to accept and the present case would not be any different... We are of the view that no change especially a change of this nature can take place unless the stakeholders also feel that this change is for the betterment and to the advantage of the society at large," the bench said.

Advocate Sanjeev Ralli, representing the Karol Bagh market association, was apprehensive about the measures and said in case loading/ unloading of goods is done at night, it would lead to security hazard.

The court said once loading/unloading of goods starts at night, the loaders, transporters and market staff would be present there and this would be a deterrent to any untoward activity like theft.

It, however, directed the local police to provide security arrangement at night.

The court asked the MCD to inform parking contractors to stop parking beyond a single lane in Karol Bagh and in case, vehicles are allowed to be parked illegally, the agreement would be cancelled following the due process.

It asked the Joint Commissioner (traffic) to look into the matter as to how the police force can be sensitised and trained to regulate traffic and book the offenders so that they are discouraged from breaking the law.

The court listed the matter for November 14 for passing further directions.

The petitioner had earlier shown some photographs to the court to illustrate the terrible situation and the fact that the pavements were being used for parking vehicles and unloading the goods.

Even the dealers of motorcycles had parked the vehicles earmarked for sale on almost 3/4th of the road, it had said.

The petition had complained about the traffic chaos due to unauthorised parking and widespread encroachment by local shopkeepers.

"Hundreds of cars and vehicles are being parked haphazardly, both under the monitoring of the corporation and otherwise. As a result, over half of the area of major roads has become de facto parking, and constricted the road for vehicles which are plying," it had claimed.

It had also alleged that shops and godown owners in the area have trucks and commercial vehicles parked on the street for loading and unloading of goods at all times of the day despite specific orders from various authorities, including the National Green Tribunal.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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