Are cycle-rickshaws viable, non-polluting transportation option, HC asks admn, MC

Posted on 4th May 2013 in Hindustan Times
The court is interested in knowing how to popularise non-polluting vehicles, and proper parking for them which will reduce traffic chaos and accidents on roads HC bench

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday asked the UT administration and Chandigarh municipal corporation that “are the rickshaws viable or have they outgrown”.
This question was posed by the division bench of the high court during the resumed hearing of the petition seeking demarcation and reviving of rickshaw stands in the city.
MC commissioner Vivek Partap Singh appeared before the high court and submitted that they have already earmarked 169 rickshaw stands in city and boards have also been put up.
The bench asked the authorities to “take holistic view and think if rickshaws are required as a non-motorised mode of transportation or not….if you think they are then play a proactive role rather.”
The bench termed the submission of the MC proclaiming to have earmarked rickshaw stands as a “mere knee-jerk reaction.”
“All the boards are in English, who will read them,” observed the bench on the pictures placed by the MC on record, showing that the rickshaw stands have been earmarked in the city.
The bench directed the authorities to play a proactive role if they consider that rickshaws were a viable option of non-polluting, non-motorised mode of transportation. But, at the same time, the bench cautioned the officials not to allow persons owing a large number of rickshaws and act as “mafias” where they exploit poor people.
The MC commissioner appeared in person after the high court had issued a show cause notice to the Chandigarh deputy commissioner and municipal commissioner as to why the contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for not demarcating and reviving rickshaw stands in the city despite repeated court directions.
A special division bench had issued the notices when the bench was apprised that the Chandigarh administration authorities had failed to comply with the court orders and were passing the buck to each other. The court was hearing a case pertaining to the introduction of eco-friendly cycle rickshaws and designating vehicle-free zones in Punjab, Haryana and UT.
Earlier on November 2, 2012, the court had directed the UT chief architect to designate proper parking space for rickshaws in every sector.
The court had said it was interested in knowing how to popularise non-polluting vehicles and also proper parking for them which would reduce traffic chaos and accidents on roads.

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