The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the Centre and states asking them what steps they have taken to remove encroachments on pavements and footpaths, identified in HT’s Unclog Delhi series as a major reason why the Capital’s arterial and link roads are always choked.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Dhanesh Ieshdhan, chairman of NGO Voice of India. A bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha gave the Centre and the states 10 weeks to file their response to the PIL, which sought directions to frame guidelines for removing such encroachments.
Ieshdhan said the encroachments were a public annoyance and put lives of pedestrians in danger. “Thousands of deaths per year in India take place as pedestrians are forced to walk on the road as the footpaths and half of road’s area is blocked by illegal shops and parking,” the petition said, accusing state machinery of being hand-in-glove with the encroachers.
“This problem, faced by millions daily, is solid proof of delusive security being provided to the common people by government agencies such as the police and local administration,” the petition stated.