Leave space for movement of pedestrians: HC

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Chennai, Sep 10 (UNI) The Madras High Court has directed that if any hawker was allowed to occupy a conservancy lane on Usman Road between Ranganathan Street and Natesan Street, sufficient space should be kept for free movement of pedestrians.

Passing orders on a PIL petition yesterday, the first bench comprising Chief Justices A K Ganguly and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla made it clear that the hawkers were allowed to occupy the lane only till August and no hawker be allowed to remain in the lane after August 31, 2009.

The bench requested the Chairman, Hawking Implementation Committee, to implement the court directive strictly.

In his petition, K R Ramaswamy alias Traffic Ramaswamy of T Nagar, said the police were intending to allot shops to about 200 pavement hawkers in the conservancy by lane. If that was done, shops would occupy six feet in the nine-foot lane. Only the remaining space would be available for the public going to the Mambalam railway station and for making purchase from the shops.

If a fault occurred in the drainage or in the electrical junction boxes or cables, it would be difficult to carry out repairs without dislocating the shops, the petitioner contended.

The Corporation submitted that hawkers had been accommodated in the conservancy lane as a temporary measure. A complex was being constructed to house all the hawkers and the first phase would be completed in ten months. The entire construction would be over in another ten months thereafter.

After the completion of the first phase, the hawkers would be accommodated on the ground floor. If they were not allowed to occupy the lane, it would be occupied by the established shop owners who would dump their goods unauthorisedly in the land.

Considering this stand, the Bench gave the directive.

UNI XR AE UCS1054

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