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A much-needed PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court asking for abandoned vehicles to be removed from public spaces

A PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court seeking the involvement of different agencies of NCT Delhi to solve the problem of unprecedented growth of vehicles. It was filed by Umesh Sharma, an advocate of the High Court.

The petitioner prayed for the cancellation of registration of all vehicles which were incapable of being used and have been abandoned and parked in various public spaces. He said state agencies should be directed to remove all such vehicles and make adequate arrangements for free movement of pedestrians in various areas of Delhi.

The petitioner highlighted the problem of rapid urbanisation in Delhi which has led to a large number of vehicles being registered. This, in turn, had resulted in the shrinking of valuable space. Moreover, as many roads were being constructed, this had led to the acute shortage of parking space. The petitioner further said that the ratio of available parking space and the number of vehicles was a complete mismatch, due to which people had no choice but to park their vehicles either on roads or in open spaces, further blocking the movement of free traffic.

Another problem was of old vehicles which were abandoned and left on roads as scrap, posing a hazard to the safety and security of citizens, and obstructing traffic flow. Relying on Section 55 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the petition said that this Section was not being complied with and not a single vehicle was reported as permanently incapable of being used on roads. The registering authority was simply sitting idle instead of taking action.

Section 55, incidentally, refers to the cancellation of registration and says:

“(1) If a motor vehicle has been destroyed or has been rendered permanently incapable of use, the owner shall, within fourteen days or as soon as may be, report the fact to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he has the residence or place of business where the vehicle is normally kept, as the case may be, and shall forward to the authority the certificate of registration of the vehicle.

“(2) The registering authority shall, if it is the original registering authority, cancel the registration and the certificate of registration, or, if it is not, shall forward the report and the certificate of registration to the original registering authority and that authority shall cancel the registration.”

On November 15, 2018, the High Court had directed all the respondents to file their status report with regard to the action taken and any further action they proposed to take.

On March 4, 2019, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation filed an affidavit stating that 25 abandoned/long standing parking vehicles were being removed from Shivaji Stadium and sent to an NDMC godown in Udyan Marg. Similarly, 16 abandoned/long standing vehicles were removed from the parking lots of Palika Bazaar. It also said that there were three vehicles parked in the Khan Market parking lot and similar action would be taken after verification.

Shaheen Parween

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