Service lanes: City's top officials in dock for flouting court orders
Top officials of the police, district administration as well as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation are in trouble, as the Punjab and Haryana high court in its order over service lanes along the Ferozepur Road has stated that "launching prosecution of senior functionaries was the only solution".punjab Updated: Nov 21, 2013 01:02 IST
Top officials of the police, district administration as well as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation are in trouble, as the Punjab and Haryana high court in its order over service lanes along the Ferozepur Road has stated that "launching prosecution of senior functionaries was the only solution".
HC in its order, copy of which is available with HT, has stated that Ludhiana deputy commissioner, Municipal Commissioner and the police commissioner were responsible for several discrepancies and for flouting court's direction regarding service lanes issued from time-to-time with full impunity.
"It appears that except for launching prosecution of senior functionaries of the district administration and the municipal authorities for varied offences, including criminal conspiracy of or traffic offences, there is no other regulatory measure left with the court," the court's order said.
Officials get last chance to explain.
However, the court has given one last chance and has issued a show-cause notice to these functionaries so that they could explain their stance.
"Before passing any such order of prosecution under direct supervision of this court, we direct the deputy commissioner, commissioner of police, additional commissioner of traffic police, and municipal commissioner to show cause their response to the report submitted by the local commissioners," the order further said.
Local commissioners Arjun Sheron and Amit Prasher appointed by the high court to assess the situation on service lanes along the Ferozepur Road had submitted a report with the HC after their visit to Ludhiana on October 25. In their report they reported several discrepancies in the working of authorities to remove encroachments from service lanes.
After the report was submitted, the MC and the police had also formed a committee to remove encroachments from service lanes which was headed by MC additional commissioner Devinder Singh.
However, high court's ruling has come as a blow to the authorities of different departments.
"The local commissioners' report also reveals clear misuse of parking lots of various commercial establishments, Ludhiana Stock Exchange in particular. The MC authorities are directed to disclose names of office bearers of Ludhiana Stock Exchange so that appropriate action, if so required, can be taken against them," the order said.
Criticises role of cops
The high court has also criticised the role of police in implementing the court orders. "The comprehensive report of local commissioners also unveils the collusion, connivance and inaction of local police authorities, traffic police and the MC, Ludhiana, as a result of which there is complete mismanagement of service lane, parking places and smooth flow of traffic," the report further added.
The report further said that the victims of this melee were the residents of nearby localities as the entire illegal parking "is being made behind the commercial establishments and in front of their residential houses".
Says parking lot contractors violating court conditions
The high court has also criticised the contractors of the parking lots along the Ferozepur Road stating that they were violating the conditions imposed by the court, which cannot "happen without the connivance of MC officials".
The parking contractor (LRY constructions) in front of Silver Arc Mall has been violating the terms of the court since long. There were several complaints that he was overcharging residents without any action from the MC.
Advocate Harpreet Sandhu, who is the counsel for one of the buildings on the Ferozepur Road that was also sealed on court's order on May 10 (but was later de-sealed), said the next date of hearing is December 4.
HC has asked local commissioners to visit the city once again and get details regarding service lanes before December 4.