In a comprehensive judgment on management of traffic in the Capital, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi Government, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the Delhi Development Authority and the Delhi Police to constitute a joint special task force to explore all questions pertaining to it.
The task force should concentrate on questions of minimising congestion, reducing pollution levels of motor vehicles and ensuring equitable access to all classes of vehicles that ply on the roads, including non-motorised transport such as bi-cycles and cycle-rickshaws.
A Full Bench of the Court comprising Justice A.P. Shah, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice S. Muralidhar passed the order on public interest litigations by non-government organisations-- Manushi and Initiative Transportation and Development-- challenging the ceiling on issuance of licences for plying and creation of zones for cycle-rickshaws.
The Bench said the Government should constitute the force within six weeks of the judgment and also provide adequate budgetary support for it.
A traffic expert; a nominee of the Commissioner of Police, a town planning expert nominated by the Delhi Development Authority; two nominees from the private sector, or drawn from autonomous institutions; a nominee with expertise in air pollution control drawn from a voluntary agency or non-government organization and a nominee from a non-government organisation with experience in the field of environment and urban livelihood should be members of the force, the judgment said.
The Principal Secretary (Transport) of the Delhi Government will be its Member-Secretary.
It should review all aspects pertaining to traffic flow, registration of vehicles, restrictions in respect of vehicular movement (of all classes of vehicles –heavy, light, private, non-motorised) which would include review and consideration of all existing policies and regulatory measures and make such recommendations as would promote the objectives of ensuring equitable access to all kinds of vehicles, the Bench said.
Further, it should also consider ways for minimising harmful impact on the environment, smoothening the flow of traffic accommodating the concerns of all interests. It might also make interim reports, recommend pilot projects and consider feasibility of any new practice or policy, the judgment said.
It should consider the views of all those interested in presenting them with a view to take a broader perspective, and to achieve this, it should place its viewpoints on the public domain and invite comments or objections on its proposals, the judgment stated.
Any proposal which the Delhi Government or the local body or any other local authority or agency wishes to implement should notify to the general public for information, the judgment stated.
The Bench ordered that the first meeting of the task force should take place within eight weeks from wednesday.
It directed that the petitions be listed on April 7 before a Division Bench to monitor the progress of implementation of this judgment, and thereafter it should be listed on the second Wednesday of each month.