HC directs TN Home Secy, CoP to appear

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Chennai, Jul 14 (UNI) Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu Home Secretary, Commissioner of Police (CoP), Greater Chennai, and other officials to appear before it on July 18 for not complying with the Government Order to shift the iron and steel shops, owned by private merchants at the heart of the city, to suburban Sathankadu.

The Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice P K Misra and Mr Justice M Sathyanarayanan, while admitting a writ petition filed by a social worker 'Traffic' K R Ramaswamy, observed that the acute and chronic problem could be sorted out immediately and directed the respondents to appear before the court at 1430 hrs on July 18 without fail.

In his petition, Mr Ramaswamy submitted that there was a proposal during 1997 by Chennai Metropolitian Development Authority (CMDA) to shift all the iron and steel shops and godowns from the city, including George Town (GT), and allotted space at Sathankadu on outskirts of the city for the purpose.

The GT town area has many schools and a large number of families reside there. Keeping in mind public safety and problems like traffic jams, Kothval Market was shifted to Koyambedu, he contended.

''GO 62 dated February 23, 1999, of the Housing and Urban Development Department -- UD III (I) had declared Sathankadu as 'Ironing Steel Market Area.' Till date this was not enforced by the athorities,'' the petitioner submitted.

Even after filing many complaints to senior officials on the matter, no steps were initiated. On the contrary, they allowed lorries and vans to be parked in GT Area, despite a court order that restricted lorry movements in GT Area from 0800 hrs to 2200 hrs, specifying streets and roads in Chennai, he contended.

The petitioner sought an order from the court to evict the iron and steel wholesale godowns to Sathankadu as per the proposal as early as possible, which was pending for the past more than 20 years.

Apart from the Home Secretary and CoP, the petitioner sighted the Municipal Administration Secretary, the Transport Department Secretary, the Chennai Corporation Commissioner, the Joint Commissioner of Police Traffic, Chennai, as respondents.

UNI XR SJ RL HT1848

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