Delhi govt files plan to clear seized vehicles choking Capital
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Delhi govt files plan to clear seized vehicles choking Capital

Delhi Police told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it is adopting a new policy to minimise traffic bottlenecks caused by a high volume of impounded vehicles parked outside police stations in different parts of the national capital.

delhi Updated: Oct 10, 2018 23:12 IST
HT Correspondent
Delhi,vehicle,traffic jam
One of the places the Supreme Court highlighted as a case in point while asking police in August to fix the problem outside Nizamuddin police station, where, it had said, junked vehicles caused congestion and were a breeding ground for mosquitoes. (Picture for representation)

Delhi Police told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it is adopting a new policy to minimise traffic bottlenecks caused by a high volume of impounded vehicles parked outside police stations in different parts of the national capital.

One of the places that the court highlighted as a case in point while asking the police in August to fix the problem outside Nizamuddin police station, where, it had said, junked vehicles caused congestion and were a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

HT also singled out Nizamuddin police station as a problem area in a front page report on May 8.

Delhi Police said in its affidavit that it has drawn up a policy to dispose of seized vehicles, including their quick release on ‘Superdari’, shifting to new centralised malkhanas (godowns), and continuous follow-ups with courts and civic authorities for the disposal of seized goods that are lying unclaimed for an extended period of time.

‘Superdari’ means that the owner of the property has to safeguard it till the case is finalised.

Delhi Police told the court it will have centralised godowns in every police district so that vehicles can be moved out of the individual police stations and stored there instead. “Apart from the regular malkhanas of police stations, Delhi Police has started the concept of centralised malkhanas in districts. These are spaces identified and earmarked by different districts in which the voluminous case properties, especially vehicles of various police stations, are kept under police record and custody,” reads the affidavit.

The affidavit, filed by joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar, adds that the storage capacity of existing malkhanas is grossly insufficient in police stations, and the malkhanas are clogged by seized vehicles and illicit liquor. As per the affidavit, as of July 31,2018, 40,233 vehicles were in various police stations across the national capital. In addition, as of August 31, 2018, there were 802,370 litres of seized liquor in police stations – 184,639 full bottles, 73,521 ‘halves’, 347,205 ‘quarters’ and over 65,000 pouches.

The affidavit says that when the police has taken charge of any unclaimed property, it will “release the property to the rightful owner as soon as possible. And when any person does not turn up to claim the property, it shall be forwarded to the central malkhana”.

As for the disposal of narcotics, the affidavit says that drugs that are of medical and industrial use can be sold as per the advice of authorities.

In August, the apex court bench of justice Madan Lokur and justice Deepak Gupta directed Delhi’s police commissioner to make a policy on impounded vehicles that were lying abandoned in Delhi police stations and “stinking up” Delhi.

The bench had said there “must” be a policy in this regard, adding that residents were frightened to go to the police stations because they had become a “junkyard” for vehicles.

HT had in a May 8report highlighted how the traffic flow on the Nizamuddin roundabout was severely affected by o illegally parked and impounded vehicles right outside the police station, leading to congestion on the Sabz Burj roundabout, Mathura Road, Lala Lajpat Rai Road and Lodi Road.

Sushant Sinha, a road design and traffic engineering expert, said that it was high time the agencies adopted measures to clear roads of dumped vehicles that eat up space and cause bottlenecks.

“The roads outside police stations are a mess. Not just Nizamuddin, if you look at the IP police station, an entire lane has been eaten up by impounded vehicles or case properties. A time-frame must be put in such cases after which these vehicles should be moved to a larger pit or should be auctioned off,” Sinha said.

First Published: Oct 10, 2018 23:12 IST