Irked by the lack of improvement in the city’s traffic situation, the Bombay high court on Tuesday summoned commissioner of police (CP) Arup Patnaik and joint CP, traffic, Vivek Phansalkar.
Acting on a public interest litigation, raising concern about traffic jams and gross violation of traffic rules, the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice RP Sondurbaldota has asked the senior IPS officers to remain present on August 22.
“Unless the CP is called to court, the ground situation will not improve,” the judges observed. Citing the example of the crackdown on hookah bars in the city, the judges told government pleader DA Nalavade that the police acted against owners of hookah joints only after the CP was summoned to court.
The PIL has been filed by the Bombay Bar Association. Practicing advocate Armin Wandrewala, who has filed an intervention application in the PIL, pointed out to the court that though various schemes and measures are proposed by traffic police, hardly an improvement has come about in the last one and a half years.
In response, Nalavade said that traffic police have formed 25 sub-committees, as directed by the court earlier, and a decision has been taken to install CCTV cameras on traffic joints, which are expected to help police improve traffic management.
Wandrewala, however, argued that most motorists do not obey traffic rules, narrating a recent experience at the Worli-Bandra Sea Link, where, she said, no one stopped when the light turned red.
Nalavade countered that traffic police were doing their best and efforts were being made to sensitise traffic police and motorists, but the judges noted that there had been no improvement.
“Strictly speaking, we should not have been hearing such a matter,” they said.