HC: Save roads & footpaths from encroachments

  • | Friday | 22nd September, 2023

Nagpur: A vigilant citizen has approached the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court with an appeal to save footpaths and roads from encroachments.Citing encroachers repeatedly occupying public properties like roads, footpaths etc, the petitioner Paramjeet Singh Kalsi termed the ongoing anti-encroachment drive a futile exercise.A division bench comprising justices Atul Chandurkar and Vrushali Joshi issued notices to the respondents — Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), commissioner of police, traffic police, SP (rural police) and project director National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) — asking them to file their say in three weeks.Due to encroachments on footpaths and streets, carriageways are practically unavailable for the public at large despite these being public properties, Kalsis petition reads.In the plea, filed through lawyer Harnish Gadiya, Kalsi has demanded the HC to direct respondents to compile database of people encroaching upon footpaths, streets and national highways, especially the habitual offenders, in online mode and to take stringent action against them not only in city limits but in entire Nagpur district. The respondents should take appropriate steps to assign a particular WhatsApp number and email ID to enable citizens to lodge complaints regarding encroachments on footpaths, on and along the roads and highways. Obstruction on highways is a violation of the free movement of citizens guaranteed under Article 19(1)(d) of the Constitution of India, the petitioner said.Kalsi raised the issue of loading and unloading of goods on streets and urged the court to direct the respondents to prohibit the same. The petitioner also wanted directions to the respondents to cancel Gumasta licence of commercial establishments operating from residential areas.Demanding action against encroachers, the petitioner demanded exemplary fines against encroachers.Respondents need to ensure that hawkers and commercial establishments in Nagpur district who are registered display their registration number and registration certificate at a conspicuous place, the petitioner said.We also published the following articles recentlyEncroachment menace: No solution in sightNagpur, a city known for its infrastructure, is struggling with encroachments. Three zones in the city have recorded the highest number of anti-encroachment drives. Despite numerous efforts, a concrete solution to the problem has not been found. Market areas and busy squares are particularly affected, causing traffic congestion and inconvenience for pedestrians. Corruption in the enforcement department and local police is believed to be a contributing factor. Unplanned development is also blamed for the rise in encroachments. The municipal commissioner has promised to designate hawking zones to address the issue.Encroachments around AIIMS removedThe New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has conducted an anti-encroachment drive around AIIMS following a report on pollution sources in the area. The NDMC removed several hawkers and vendors from the vicinity. The drive was carried out based on recommendations by a committee formed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to address air pollution affecting patients and staff at AIIMS. The NDMCs report highlighted issues such as traffic management, encroachment, lack of green spaces, and waste and dust management in the area.Municipal squads to ensure mandals dont encroach upon public spacesThe Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will be inspecting pandals and arches during the upcoming 10-day Ganeshotsav festival to ensure that there are no encroachments on public roads and spaces. PMC officials will review the temporary structures and instruct mandals to rearrange them if they violate space norms. The goal is to prevent any hardships for citizens during the festivities and to maintain traffic flow. Commuters have also requested mandals to set aside adequate space for vehicles and pedestrians. Over 1,500 mandals celebrate Ganeshotsav in the city, and volunteers will be deployed to maintain traffic flow and guide visitors.

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