Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed, the second senior-most judge of Delhi High Court who had passed an order on checking traffic congestion in the city, today expressed “frustration” over its non-compliance as he narrated his ordeal of getting caught in a snarl on his way to court.
“You can’t imagine how frustrating it is for a High Court judge to pass an order regarding traffic congestion in Delhi and later see it not being complied with,” Justice Ahmed said while narrating his ordeal during the hearing on an air pollution case.
The bench, which also comprised Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, directed the Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) to personally look into the compliance of the court’s directions on regulating vehicular movement on roads and carriage way.
“I was coming to the court at around 10.30 AM and at the roundabout near the house of the Vice President of India, I saw people moving in the carriage way.
“I asked the traffic police personnel deployed there that why he was not challaning the people driving wrongly in carriage way. He said to me they are not supposed to challan before 11 am,” Justice Ahmed said.
Justice B D Ahmed further asked the counsel for Delhi Police what kind of traffic management was this that a traffic violator is fined only when there was a free flow of traffic and not when it is very much needed.
“In the last hearing of the case, you filed an affidavit saying the people driving in carriage way wrongly will be challaned as well as booked under section 279 (driving dangerously) of IPC. You see on the ground, nothing happens,” the bench observed.
It said there has to be some thinking in the traffic department about the management and regulation of traffic and intelligent personnel need to be deployed on the roads.
“Traffic congestion is nothing new for cities in India. Traffic of Bombay is regulated in a much better way. A person sitting in car on Delhi road is so frustrated that when he reaches his office, he may start a fight with his colleague,” the bench observed.
It said Delhi was burning fuel worth billions of rupees due to traffic congestion and idling of vehicles which also contributes to air pollution.
Counsel for central government informed the court that Delhi police had initially prepared a detailed project report for Safe City project worth Rs 1680 crore, which was later revised to around Rs 1704 crore.
The counsel said that project has huge financial implication and public resources needs to be used prudently.
He said Delhi police was unable to spend Rs 275.08 crore already allocated to it and only 33 per cent has been spent.
Earlier on February 4, the court had said that unlike the public perception, the pollution levels in the capital last year was not as bad as other years.
It had said the year 2015 was relatively a better year in terms of pollution index but it did not mean the situation was good.
Delhi traffic police in its report had said that it has identified 14 spots, congested junctions or corridors in Delhi, as extremely affected.
The court had directed the Centre, AAP government and other authorities to submit plans to bring the pollution levels within the prescribed limits.
( Source – PTI )