Ensure there are no encroachments on roads in Aurangabad: Bombay HC
Expressing anguish at the encroachments on footpaths in Aurangabad, which resulted in dissuading tourists from visiting the historical monuments like Ajanta and Ellora, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) directed the local administration and police to ensure removal of the encroachments. The court also expressed the hope that this action on the part of authorities would attract more tourists, thus improving the economy of the region.
A division bench of justice TV Nalawade and justice MG Sewlikar, while hearing a criminal suo-moto public interest litigation (PIL), was informed by advocate AP Bhandari that the plan by City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) was not being followed as the electronic shops and eateries that housed the area were causing nuisance and empty spaces between buildings and footpaths had been encroached by the shopkeepers themselves, as a result of which traffic in the area was also affected. Bhandari submitted photographs of the Cannaught Place area which was under Cidco.
Commissioner/administrator of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, who was present in court submitted that following the directions of the court to ensure that the city was beautified, he had taken initiatives to remove the encroachments so that the city is made clean and beautiful. He added that an NGO had been roped in to do the needful and added that he planned to create a 20kms track for the use of cyclists and pedestrians. He also submitted that separate parking places and hawker zone in the city were also being planned to ensure that the roads are not crowded and there is a smooth flow of traffic.
The Aurangabad city police commissioner also informed the court that steps were being taken to remove unauthorized parking and was extending all help to the corporation to remove the encroachments and hindrances to traffic.
After hearing the submissions, the court in light of the suo-moto PIL observed, “In tourism map of India, Aurangabad district has a special place, due to places like Ajanta, Ellora caves, Bibi-ka-Makbara, etc. The tourists from all over the world came to Aurangabad. Aurangabad city can be developed as ‘tourist centre’ for tourists of all over the world. But, for those necessary steps need to be taken by all the authorities in that regard.” The court concluded that it hoped that once the city improved it would attract more tourists which would also provide jobs to the locals and posted the PIL for further compliance on February 18.