While disposing of the petition regarding mismanagement of traffic and unauthorized parking of vehicles in Shimla, the High Court directed the state government and Municipal Corporation, Shimla to file status report after every three months before the Registrar (Judicial).
During hearing of the matter, the court observed that the respondents have complied with the directions made by the court from time to time. Keeping in view the compliance reports filed in this matter, the court directed the government to comply with the directions made by the court time to time and also comply with the mandate of the Act & Rules, occupying the field, strictly.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Sandeep Sharma passed these orders on a petition filed by one Dharam Pal Thakur of Panthaghati, Shimla. Looking into the larger public interest the matter was treated as Public Interest Litigation by the court. Time to time the Court had directed the State Govt. to file status report on the implementation of the Shimla Road Users and Pedestrians (Public Safety & Convenience) Act, 2007 and also to furnish the list of permits granted by the authorities for plying of vehicles on sealed and restricted roads.
The Court had also directed the authorities to furnish affidavit stating whether CCTV cameras have deployed and fixed at entry points and what is the mechanism in place to check and deter unnecessary vehicles on sealed and restricted roads, whether traffic police is manning the entry points to these roads and proper signals have been fixed, to report on proper usage of earmarked parking places and also on steps taken to prevent unauthorized parking. The Court had also directed the government to report to prevent unauthorized parking in around IGMC, Kamla Nehru Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and also on the policy prevalent for manning HRTC taxis on sealed and restricted roads.
The petitioner has alleged in his petition that the authorities have failed to diligently perform their duties, leading to chaos and haphazardness, which has made day to day movement of residents and tourists very difficult. He alleged that the authorities are lax in implementation of Shimla Road Users Act, traffic Police deployment on sealed and restricted roads is insufficient Parking on such roads is not permitted but these have virtually become parking lots for the vehicles of high and mighty. Govt. vehicles are also running on sealed and restricted roads without permits and HRTC taxis are also plying on these routes with dangerous speed.
Private ambulances with no patients can be seen playing on these roads without check. He had alleged that neither is there any plan with the govt. nor there space and infrastructure to deal with increasing number of vehicles in Shimla City as there are only 32 notified taxi stands and 13 paid parkings of Municipal Corporation with total capacity of only 480 vehicles.
Hence, unauthorized parking severely hampering the movement of traffic can be seen near hotels and offices on circular road, Sanjauli, Chotta Shimla, Boileuganj, Kasumpati, BCS etc., but the most serious part is when such unauthorized parking is near IGMC, Kamla Nehru Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, due to which patients are feeling lot of inconvenience in reaching hospital.
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