The Delhi High Court has observed that sidewalks should be kept clear of encroachments on a continuous basis and authorities cannot shirk their responsibilities just by carrying out occasional anti-encroachment drives. The court made the observation while directing the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) to remove encroachment in Mangolpuri area and also ensure they are not re-encroached upon.
The court directed the authorities to ensure that illegal encroachments of sidewalks are cleared on a daily basis.
"The respondents cannot shirk of their responsibility by carrying out the exercise of removing encroachment occasionally. It is their responsibility to ensure that side-walks are kept clear from illegal encroachments and hawkers on a continuous basis," a bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said.
The court was hearing a petition by a person named Rajan who has alleged that unauthorised and illegal encroachment has come up in the form of kiosks on the side-walks opposite a market in Mangolpuri. The plea said the encroachment has made the pedestrian and other movements difficult in the area.
The NrDMC counsel submitted that even the petitioner claimed that the encroachment was removed earlier. However, the encroachers have again occupied the pavement.
"The concerned Executive Engineer, NrDMC having jurisdiction over the area shall be personally responsible to ensure that all such encroachments in the said area are removed and they are not re-encroached upon.
"We direct the SHO, Police Station Mangolpuri to provide requisite force to the Executive Engineer, NrDMC having jurisdiction over the area for removing the encroachments," the bench said in its order.
It also said that the NrDMC and police shall also install barricades to prevent any re-encroachment.
Regarding another grievance raised by the petitioner that vehicles are being parked in the community park of the area, the bench directed the authorities to ensure that such illegal parking does not take place.
"That is not the purpose for which the park is developed," it said, adding that all the vehicles stationed in the park shall be removed.
The court also directed the authorities to maintain the park by ensuring proper plantation of trees and removal of garbage. It asked the authorities to file a status report disclosing the number of gardeners and other staff deployed for the park's security and maintenance.