Need for final action on illegal encroachments: HC

 There is a need to act “once and for all” against illegal encroachments, the Delhi High Court today told a municipal body and the police while taking note of the practice of permitting shops on pavements.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar made the observation while hearing a PIL by south Delhi-based resident welfare association, which sought removal of encroachments from footpaths.

It alleged that illegal shops on pavements were selling tobacco products in prohibited areas under the Street Vendor Act.

The counsel for South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) contended that they take action against encroachers every month, but they again return to these sites.

The SDMC also informed the court that the police also take action against them every month.

Hearing this, the bench remarked that the court was not here to look into all this and “if there is a need for action next month, we will see what we will do thereafter”.

“We do not want action and reaction. We want action once and for all,” it said.

The bench in its oral remarks, without naming any agency, observed that there are “payments on pavements, because of which these encroachers return back”.

It issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government, SDMC and the Delhi Police on the PIL which also alleged that due to the occupancy on pavements, senior citizens, women and children are forced to walk on roads, putting there life in danger.

The court has now fixed the matter for April 16, by when the authorities have to file their action taken report.

The PIL alleged that the authorities have failed to consider the fundamental right of the pedestrians under the Constitution to walk on the pavements.

“It cannot be taken away either by the authorities or by illegal vendors,” the plea added.

Source : PTI

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