The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday took serious view of the Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula police of flagging down vehicles at nakas (check posts) and stated that there is no law which allows nakas to come up in such a manner just for checking vehicle papers.
“Which law gives you the right to stop my car? Motor Vehicle Act doesn't permit you to flag down every vehicle. Stop this naka business and show some policing on roads,” said justice Rajive Bhalla noticing the harassment caused to the commuters by such nakas.
Justice Bhalla further added, “Please stop putting up nakas except for policing. We are not criminals. You must have information first (before stopping vehicle at naka) that I have done any crime.”
The court also observed that the police fail to remove nakas in the morning put up on previous night causing inconvenience to commuters.
Addressing the commissioner of police Ambala-Panchkula, Rajbir Deswal, who was present in the court, justice Bhalla said, “In Panchkula also nakas are put up everywhere. Please have boots (cops) on the ground rather than just going for nakas.”
Deswal informed the court that he was just having 42 cops on traffic duties in Panchkula, on which the court directed him to increase their number.
Is infrastructure for VIP sectors only?
“It is admitted by all concerned that apart from VIP sectors, other roads in the city experience serious traffic every morning and evening. Why the road from the governor house to PGI and Sector-7 road carpeted every three months? What about other roads in the city?” the court asked.
After perusing Chandigarh administration's affidavit, the court said a large number of cycle tracks in the city were in a bad shape and granted two months to repair these tracks failing which action would be taken against authorities.'
The court also granted three months' time to the municipal corporation and engineering department for lighting of cycle tracks.
The UT home secretary was also asked to file reply as to why proposal sent to him for installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras last year was not considered till date.
Do we need roundabouts?
“Nowhere in the world I have seen such roundabouts where vehicles get stuck,” said justice Bhalla observing that Chandigarh did not have any plan to decongest traffic in the past many years. The court said nothing was done, apart from putting up unsynchronised traffic lights, introduction of dangerous slip roads where instead of seamless merging of traffic into the traffic on main road tends to interfere with main traffic.
Road traffic expert Navdeep Asija was directed to file a comprehensive report on Chandigarh by examining traffic problems in other than VIP sectors.
Why vehicles parked on green space?
The HC asked the Chandigarh police that why they were allowing parking of vehicles on roadside berms and green spaces in violation of the court orders. The court also questioned the rationale of coming up with new flyover in Sector 17 stating that it had not helped in easing traffic congestion.
Why buses stop near Zirakpur flyover?
The court directed the SAS Nagar SSP to file reply as to why inter-state buses moving from Chandigarh and passing through Zirakpur were picking up passengers just 50 metres before Zirakpur flyover forcing passengers to stand near the flyover.
The court said in case the practice is not stopped, the SSP would have to remain present in court and if there was a need, the municipal corporation should provide a bus stop 100 metres before the flyover.
The case would now come up for hearing on November 22.