The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ordered Ghaziabad district to prepare a comprehensive traffic management plan for Kaushambi within three weeks. It directed the formation of a committee of nine officers to prepare the plan.
Kaushambi highrises are located next to heavy traffic areas, two interstate bus terminals — Delhi’s Anand Vihar and one in Kaushambi itself — and the Ghazipur landfill site. These factors played a role in increasing pollution in the area, especially during winters when winds are calm.
The court said the committee will comprise the Ghaziabad’s district magistrate and police chief, Ghaziabad development authority chairperson, commissioners from the city’s municipality, the East Delhi municipal corporation and the Meerut division, chairperson of the UP state road transport corporation, a nominee of the Delhi Police commissioner, and the Delhi government transport secretary. Ghaziabad district magistrate will act be the nodal officer, the court said.
“Experience shows that a direction by the court to the law enforcement machinery may result in some action, even high-handed action for a few days, until the position is restored to the original status which becomes the new “normal”. Hence, a comprehensive traffic management plan has to be drawn up to deal with the situation. This will be in addition to the directions issued by the NGT (national green tribunal) and will not detract from them or from the supervision by the NGT,” a three-judge bench said in its order.
The court was hearing a petition from the Kaushambi residents’ welfare association (KARWA) against pollution.
On Wednesday when different issues were presented, the court decided to take up the problem of traffic management in the first instance. The court observed that to resolve the traffic issues, a “unified approach” is required from officials in Delhi and UP.
“After filing a number of petitions since 2015 and directions issued by the NGT, we moved Supreme Court. With the court’s directions, we expect that measures will be taken up by concerned authorities,” said VK Mittal, president of KARWA.
The court also elaborated that the traffic plan would also cover all incidental aspects including arrangements for regulating traffic and earmarking adequate land for parking of public service vehicles.
District magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey did not respond on the issue.
“During the course of hearing, we maintained that none of the industrial units in Ghaziabad were using pet coke or furnace oil as fuel. We will abide by all directions of the court,” said Utsav Sharma, regional officer of the UPPCB.