The traffic police withdrew the no objection certificate (NOC) to traffic pedestals and kiosks in the city, supposedly due to adverse observations by the Bombay high court and damaging media reports.
Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police (traffic), stated this in an affidavit filed before the court recently. The affidavit said that the joint secretary in 2008, PT Gaud, had stressed the need for traffic pedestals taking into consideration the plight of traffic policemen on the road. However, a fresh review of the decision, based on reports of non-use of pedestals, adverse observations by the high court about sponsorship, prompted the traffic control branch to withdraw the NOC.
The affidavit was filed in response to a petition by Clear Channel Mumbai Private Limited — which installed 86 traffic pedestals in the city and was given permission to have advertisements on the pedestals — challenging the revocation of the NOC.
Singh also said that several photographs have been attached to the affidavit showing, non use and obstruction to traffic, due to presence of pedestals on main roads and junctions.
The petitioners had contended that their license was valid till June 2015, but without any intimation, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority had issued an order informing them that the joint commissioner of police (traffic) had withdrawn their NOC.
Counsels Pravin Samdani and Zubin Behramkamdin, appearing for the petitioner, pointed out that an affidavit filed by the joint secretary (home) and deputy commissioner of police (traffic), on a public interest litigation filed in 2008, had said that traffic pedestals are necessary for effective regulation of traffic.
The court then asked the state government to explain what had changed since 2008, owing to which they changed their mind on the need for pedestals.