Thursday, May 13, 2010

Encroachment by Politicians – High Court Issues Notice

Chandigarh: Sanjay Pahwa:- A Division Bench of the HC comprising CJ Mukul Moudgil and Justice Jasbir Singh today issued notices for August 17th to E.O, Municipal Council, Fazilka, DC Ferozepur, Surjit Jyani, MLA Fazilka constituency and one Kewal Krishan, who has taken illegal possession of site of rickshaw stand in Cycle Bazar Fazilka.

Navdeep Asija, Secretary (Administration) of Graduates Welfare Association, Fazilka, stated in the writ petition (CWP No: 8530- 2010) that the association had launched a unique scheme for welfare of rickshaw pullers and ordinary citizens from April 4th. Under the aforesaid scheme, the Fazilka city has been divided into five zones, and in each zone, a cycle Rickshaw stand has been provided to the Rickshaw pullers; they have also been provided a landline telephone, with the result that the people of Fazilka are in a position to arrange for a Cycle Rickshaw even at odd hours, without personally going to Rickshaw Stand for hiring Rickshaw. Another peculiar feature of this scheme is that the design of Cycle Rickshaw has been changed; its weight has been reduced by about 35 kilograms, with the result that the Rickshaw pullers can easily ply Rickshaws by using less physical force.

It is pertinent to state that on April 28th, the Chief Justice's Bench, after reading about this unique scheme for rickshaw pullers launched at Fazilka, had appreciated it and taken suo motu notice of the news reports and issued notice to State of Punjab on this scheme. The petitioner, however, alleged in his PIL that Surjit Jayani, local MLA did not like the new scheme; and at his instance, one Kewal Krishan took illegal possession of the site for parking of rickshaws and converted it into a shop for cooking and selling pakoras; and despite repeated notices by the Municipal Council, the encroacher, who is backed by local MLA, has refused to vacant his illegal possession. The petitioner, therefore, prayed for issuance of directions to the EO, MC Fazilka and DC Ferozepur to get the illegal possession of rickshaw parking shed vacated immediately.

Two year back, Graduates Welfare Association started "Dial a Rickshaw" concept in Fazilka through which rickshaws were made available to the citizen of urban Fazilka through Phone call. The concept was well liked and being considered as one the best social and environment reformer. At present rickshaw operation in Fazilka is giving instant employment to more than 500 traction men i.e. rickshaw families. Through this the association not only improved accessibility but also improved the rickshaw facility as well. Later in the same year, after the success of Dial a Rickshaw Ecocab, Fazilka city become India's first car free city. These two achievements put the city in the top league of other cities of developed nation. GWAF become example for many other cities and now more than 300 graduates from directly or indirectly linked with Fazilka are the part of it.

But this success was not being digested by few. To shutdown the popularity of Ecocab, instead of improving it municipal council took the 30 year old rickshaw stand place to construct ultra modern toilet block and promise was made that place to park three rickshaw near toilet block (minimum 5 feet) shall be kept for rickshaw operations. Before the inauguration, the remaining space, which falling at prime location of the city has been allocated without following any legal proceedings to one of their blue eyed person, who now sells PAKORA near toilet. Municipal council is there to take care of health of the residents but here openly PAKORA being sold along with toilet but, no worried. They are the part of ruling government and have the support of the local elected politicians.

This forced the association to move the High Court, which issued a notice of motion on the PIL.–-high-court-issues-notice/

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