Decongesting heart of the city

Posted on 3rd March 2012 in Times of India
CHANDIGARH: Soon, there could be a ban on entry of vehicles in Sector 17 after 4pm to decongest the heart of the city. 
Taking up the issue of escalating vehicular traffic in city, Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday suggested the Chandigarh administration to make some parts of Sector 17 as no-vehicle zone after 4pm. Reiterating its earlier suggestion to make some parts of each sector vehicle free on rotational basis, HC suggested that the administration could start from Sector 16 where VIPs, including bureaucrats and judges, live. HC also asked the UT to reserve some area of city for running of ecocabs specially designed rickshaws.

Apparently concerned over the growing traffic chaos on city roads, division bench - comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice Ajay Tewari - made it clear that if UT administration fails to take a decision in this regard, the bench could pass an order.

The suggestion was given by a division bench during resumed hearing of a petition on the issue of introducing eco-cabs in cities of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The court had taken a suo moto notice of the issue. The concept of eco-cabs was invented in Fazilka district of Punjab where cycle rickshaws are just a phone call away. HC has already asked the Chandigarh administration to explore possibility of introducing eco-cabs in Chandigarh. 

UT has also contacted Graduate Welfare Association, Fazilka, (GWAF) secretary Navdeep Asija, who has been instrumental in inventing such rickshaws, for making arrangements to introduce eco-cabs in the city. The bench also directed the administration to find a way to improve parking situation in the city. 

Importantly, the bench on September 23, 2011 had directed the UT administration to declare one of its sectors as vehicle-free zone to keep a check on growing vehicular congestion. 

Responding to the implementation of earlier orders, UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal asserted that the process is already on, but making a decision and then enforcing it will take some more time. Now, the case would come up for further hearing on March 7.


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