The Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi government to ensure that the redevelopment work carried out in Chandni Chowk is continued and maintained.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela in its November 8 order said the traders association also owed “some social responsibility” as the area is being developed for their welfare as well.
The bench, thereafter, disposed of a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) instituted by the High Court last year after taking cognizance of a newspaper report reflecting the various stages of Chandni Chowk’s development and the delay which occurred in its implementation.
The bench noted that the status reports filed from time to time revealed that the Delhi Government and other agencies of the Union of India had taken steps in the redevelopment of Chandni Chowk.
On the dispute over boom barriers, the Delhi Government counsel said it would not be possible to post police personnel round the clock to manage the boom barriers throughout the day “keeping in view the law and order situation in the locality and the number of police personnel posted in the police station”.
The bench, thereafter, said traders were expected to assist authorities, adding that they were free to devise a formula for managing the boom barriers by employing their own people in consultation with the Delhi Police. “…It is expected that the traders associations will take up the responsibility and come forward to assist the authorities in this endeavour,” the court said.
On the steps taken by the police, the bench noted that an appropriate action was taken against unauthorised hawkers, squatters and encroachers. It further noted that cameras were installed by the PWD on the main Chandni Chowk stretch, ie, from the Red Fort to Fatehpuri to monitor “no entry violation”, leading to collection of over Rs 19 lakh as fine last year.
The status report stated that adequate staff was deployed at the Red Fort Chowk to help pedestrians cross the road and also to guide them for using the subway and to stop the entries of motor vehicles in the area.
The bench also noted the government lawyer’s statement that it was the duty of the government, the MCD and other authorities to ensure that the re-development and beautification of Chandni Chowk, which has been brought back to its past glory with the efforts of all the parties concerned, remains intact.