The Supreme Court today directed the Delhi Police commissioner to come out with a time line for removing traffic bottlenecks at 77 congested corridors in the city and also asked him to frame a policy to deal with impounded vehicles lying at police stations here.
Pulling up the authorities for not having a definite timeline on the issue, a bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta referred to a dialogue in a Bollywood movie ‘tareekh pe tareekh’ (date after date) about court proceedings and observed that nothing has happened on the issue even after 54 meetings were convened by the officials.
Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, who appeared in the court in pursuance to its direction, told the bench that traffic congestion would be cleared and he would ensure that a timeline of the work was placed before the apex court soon.
“You want city of Delhi to crack up? Now there are floods in Delhi. Everything which should not happen is happening in Delhi,” the bench told an official of the public works department (PWD) of the Delhi government, who was present in the court room.
Referring to the recent submersion of a bus at Minto Road here following rains in Delhi, the bench told Patnaik, “You cannot have buses going underwater at Minto Road. This news is coming in newspapers abroad. Can you imagine what it reflects about the capital of the most emerging economy of the world?”.
The apex court, while pointing out towards 54 meetings convened by the officials on this issue, said it cannot go on like this and timeline of work has to be finalised.
When Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand said that several agencies were involved in the matter and it was not confined to only the Delhi Police, the bench said, “We are asking you about timeline for the third time. In front of Nizamuddin Police Station, you are not able to remove the junk. Cars and vehicles are lying over there. What have you done?”.
The court said there was congestion in police stations across the city and it should be cleared.
When Anand said there was “congestion in court also”, the bench asked Patnaik as to what he proposes to do to deal with the situation.
“Do you have some policy with regard to the vehicles, cars and two-wheelers which are impounded and are lying in the police stations,” the bench asked.
Patnaik said that such vehicles were case property items and they have taken steps to de-congest the police stations.
“Vehicles lying at police stations are like junks… Bring it to the notice of the concerned courts that what we should do with them. Courts will pass orders,” the bench said.
It asked the police commissioner to frame a policy in this regard and also to hold a meeting to fix time line for decongestion of traffic bottlenecks.
The bench gave four weeks time to the police commissioner to come out with the timeline and policy on impounded items lying at police stations here.
The apex court also asked the other agencies concerned to cooperate in the matter so that issues flagged in February last year on traffic bottlenecks could be dealt with.
On July 20, the court had sought presence of the police commissioner to explain the bottlenecks in implementing the recommendations of the task force for removing encroachments and traffic congestion here.
It had also taken umbrage to an affidavit filed by the Delhi government in the matter and had observed that despite orders, no specific timeline had been given for removing traffic bottlenecks and encroachments in the city.
The Delhi government had earlier told the apex court that under category ‘A’, there were 28 highly congested corridors, while category ‘B’ has 30 congested corridors. The rest 19 “less congested” corridors were placed under category ‘C’.
It had also given details of the measures — short term and long term — to deal with the issue.