The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday asked the governments of Punjab and Haryana to consider the idea of having dedicated police personnel/officers to manage traffic in cities and districts.
During the hearing of a contempt petition on traffic-related issues in both states, the single-judge bench of justice Rajive Bhalla observed that one need not go far from Chandigarh to see the state of affairs on the roads of both states.
“One has to travel a few kilometres into Panchkula and Mohali. It is enough to witness the sorry state of affairs,” the bench observed in the open court.
The HC asked the chief secretaries of both states to file their replies on whether dedicated traffic forces in districts and cities could be set up. The HC has also stated that the duties of those manning traffic were interchangeable with those on VIP movement duty.
The HC directed both governments to explore the possibility of separating the two duties and file an affidavit by the next date of hearing on the requirement of staff for such a proposal.
The court observed that accidents had come down, but there was still violation of traffic rules in both states. It also directed the two states to have enough traffic signals on the roads other than national highways and ensure that traffic lights remain functional.
“It is not the court’s job to give directions for road widening and installation of traffic lights. It is the failure of the administration. That is why we step in. Do your job, we will not ask any questions,” the bench said in the open court while warning the officials that their job would be on the line if directions of the court were not implemented in letter and spirit in the next one month.
The HC also asked the additional directors general of police (ADGPs) of both states to remain present in the HC during the next hearing in January.
The HC also directed the ministry of defence and the chairman, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), to resolve the impasse over land acquisition at an ammunition depot on the Ferozepur-Ludhiana national highway at the earliest by holding a meeting for the purpose.