The obstructions created by potholes, poles and shopping kiosks on pavements, especially for the disabled, in the north campus of Delhi University today led the Delhi High Court to take the MCD officials to task for its "criminal negligence".
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar termed the situation as "extremely distressing" as the tactile markings on the pavements were "replete with obstructions" including pillars, hoardings and signboards.
"You have tactile markings on pavements till it hits a tree or a pole. How dare you waste taxpayers' money like this," the court asked and observed it is a "criminal negligence on part of the person concerned".
It directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North MCD) to give details of its officials who had designed and approved the plans, the tenders, selected the contractors and sanctioned payments for the works.
The bench said these obstructions prohibit access to navigation for any pedestrian, let alone those who are visually impaired. ... If this is what statutory authorities do, how can one blame the citizens."
It said all civic bodies have to be mindful that the facilities put in place for the disabled are not obstructed in any way.
The bench asked the North MCD to map the facilities available for the disabled in its jurisdiction and listed the matter for further hearing on January 11.
The observations and directions of the court came when it was hearing a PIL alleging that the tactile markings on pavements in the north campus of the varsity, especially outside prominent colleges like the Hindu College, were obstructed by police chowkis, bus stops, trees, poles, holes, hoardings and signboards.
The petition sought that the campus be made more disabled friendly.
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