HC directs Delhi cops to make pavements encroachment-free by hawkers, squatters.
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday directed the Delhi police commissioner to deploy more police force in Chandni Chowk so as to ensure the area is kept free from encroachment by hawkers.
It also sought a report on the steps taken by the police and senior Muncipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials to enforce its various previous orders on the issue of stopping encroachments in the area in the Walled City.
“The Delhi police commissioner is directed to deploy a larger force to ensure that the area is kept free from illegal hawkers and squatters on pavements,” a bench of justices G.S. Sistani and V. Kameshwar Rao said.
When the bench was informed that Public Works Department secretary Renu Sharma was seized of a similar matter pending before another court, it appointed her as the nodal officer in this case also.
The high court also asked the Delhi police officials and the municipal corporations involved in the case to consult Ms Sharma, who also has h responsibility to convene reghular review meetings.
The bench listed the matter for further hearing on Jan. 17 next year.
During the hearing, Delhi police standing counsel Rahul Mehra told the court that serious steps were regularly being taken to make the area encroachment-free, but the hawkers resurface soon after the conclusion of a drive.
Mr Mehra and additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal suggested that as an experimental measure, entry of vehicles into the congested Chandni Chowk area be stopped from 9 am to 9 pm for a week. Alternative modes of transport such as e-rickshaw should used to take people to the market area, they added.
The high court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal against encroachments by hawkers in the area.