Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Punjab and Haryana HC closes suo motu petition on safety of animals vis-a-vis vehicular traffic

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has found that there is no need to retain the pending suo motu petition regarding the safety of animals from motor vehicles.

The respondents have filed an affidavit dated 18.03.2019 enumerating the steps taken by them to prevent recurrence of the incident noticed by this Court. The same are re-produced:
-That office of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic and Security, U.T., Chandigarh vide letter dated 13.3.2019 asked the Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary Engineering, U.T. Chandigarh and the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh for installation of ‘Table Top Speed Breakers’ and `Drive Slow-Wild Animal Crossing Area’ sign boards in all the vulnerable points which are adjoining forest area land to control the speed of motor vehicle for the safety of both motorist and wild animal.

-That apart from this the office of the deponent has also issued instructions for setting up a special team under Inspector/Traffic/Admn. SI Ashok Tuli lines office/Traffic and MHC/Traffic to setup speed check nakas at all the vulnerable points along with forest area and has also setup a team under Inspector Paramjeet Kaur Sekhon, In-charge CTP to conduct awareness campaign regarding to educate motorist to drive slow and drive in lane on the stretch which are more vulnerable to wildlife movement.

-That in compliance to the order issued by the deponent the wildlife awareness team of the Traffic Police had set up various education drives on the vulnerable roads adjoining to the forest area the details of such drives and some of the photographs making motorists aware of the speed limits to be followed.

  • That apart from this the Chandigarh Traffic Police have also started a special drive of challenging motorist for violating speed limits on these vulnerable roads and also set up over speeding nakas and also started the drives of issuing the challans for drunken driving over these roads. The very object of these special drives are to make the motorist more aware of the fact these are sensitive areas where there are animal crossing points and hence they should be more aware while driving on these vulnerable roads so that to avoid man animal conflict so is to reduce animal hit injuries by the vehicles.
  • That apart from this the Chandigarh Traffic Police further pledge the all necessary possible care for setting up more measures that would be required for avoiding such incidents in future and make these vulnerable roads much safer for both motorists as well as wild animals.

In view of the aforesaid, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli found that there is no need to retain this petition pending and be consigned to the records. “However, if any cause of action survives, the petition shall be revived,” the Bench ordered.

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