Shaheen Bagh News: On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) which sought the removal of blockade from the Kalindi Kunj- Shaheen Bagh route saying it is police’s responsibility to manage the traffic. The Shaheen Bagh stretch was closed on the 15th of December 2019 due to the anti-CAA protest that are still ongoing.
On Monday, Delhi High Court said it will hear the plea for reopening the Kalindi Kunj – Shaheen Bagh stretch. The plea was filed by social activist and advocate, Amit Sahni, saying the the closure of the stretch is “causing huge inconvenience/hardship to lakhs of commuters every day and they are compelled to take different routes for last one month”.
The PIL was heard by a High Court Bench which included Chief Justice of Delhi High Court D N Patel, and Justice C Hari Shankar on Tuesday.
The PIL sought direction to the Commissioner of Delhi Police to pull out the road closure at the Okhla Underpass, and the Shaheen Bagh-Kalindi Kunj route which were fist closed on the 15th December 2019 due to the still continuing protests against the NRC and CAA. The closure were only temporary however it kept on getting extension.
The Delhi High Court has dismissed the petition and said it was police’s responsibility to manage the traffic.
The Shaheen bagh routh is crucial as it connects three cities – Delhi, Noida, and Faridabad. The commuters have been forced to take alternative routes following the blockade at these stretches. Ashram, and DND (Delhi-Noida-Delhi) are the two routes that have faced the worst of the traffic, resulting in long traffic jams, and waste of both fuel and time.
Even the people who travel by Metro are affected, as the parking facilities are not big enough to accommodate this many number of cars, resulting in people having to take a detour to find a parking and then catch the metro, resulting in longer route, more travelling time, and higher fares.
The PIL said that children, who have to attend school, are being forced to leave 2 hours earlier from home following the road barricading.
The PIL asserted that the responsible authorities have failed to take necessary approaches to give respite to the residents of the area and also the lakhs of commuters of all but not restricted to Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.
Advocate Sahni said that on the 3rd of January, he gave a presentation to the authorities, however, there was no action taken.
Apart from the Police, the plea also mentioned the Central and Delhi government as parties, saying they must help the police in addressing the issue at large. Due to the road closure, the commute which took 30 minutes, is now taking 2 hours or more.
While citing news reports, Sahni also added that on an average the Ashram Chowk, before the closure, received a traffic of 30,000 vehicles in a single day, however, after the closure, the number has crossed the 1 lakh mark.
After dismissing this plea, the Delhi High Court said that it will not entertain any other PIL on this matter or seeking removal of the protestors at the Shaheen bagh which is causing huge traffic.
The court directed that this petition should be taken as a representation by the authorities, and the authorities should keep in mind the effect on traffic and the inconvenience caused to the general public on giving permission to the protestors.