How many times have you missed a train or just managed to scramble into the compartment in time after getting stuck in the massive traffic jam around New Delhi Railway Station, especially on the Paharganj side?
The congestion on the already narrow approach road to the station is compounded by the rampant encroachment on the roads, but not any more.
The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered decongestion of the road asking the MCD, Delhi Police and the traffic police to remove all encroachments — hawkers, squatters and rehriwalahs (push carts).
The authorities are to act by January 23 and file a status report in the court. Delhi Police, counsel Anoop Bagai assured the court that a 20-member team would be deployed on the road to ensure encroachers are removed and that they do not return.
Those hawkers and squatters holding tehbazari licenses (issued by the MCD) are likely to be given alternative site and other facilities in Desh Bandhu Gupta Park. The police have already asked the MCD not to issue any fresh licenses.
The order from Justice G.S. Sistani came on a petition filed by a Paharganj resident Nitin who said that using the road dotted with illegal pan shops, phone booths, crowded dhabas, chhole bature and samosas and push carts selling vegetables daily was a nightmarish experience. He raised the plight of lakhs of people who used the roads to reach the railway station.
Nitin’s lawyer S.C. Kalra told the court that commuters continued to face severe hardship as authorities failed to act against encroachers despite a court direction on March 8, 2006. Asking the police to take stern action against unauthorised squatters, Justice Pradeep Nandrajog had then even ordered “permanent confiscation” of the goods seized from them as the “token fine did not prove to be an effective deterrent”.