Traffic police may fine owners who illegally park, abandon vehicles near metro work

Traffic police may fine owners who illegally park, abandon vehicles near metro work 1
The bench observed that officials were not invoking Section 201 of the Motor Vehicles Act, which grants authorities power to levy a fine of up to Rs 50 per hour on owners who leave a disabled vehicle at a public place (Representational Image, Courtesy: Kiara Roy)

In a bid to decongest roads where Metro construction is underway, the Bombay High Court has directed the state and Mumbai traffic police to take stern action against illegally parked and abandoned vehicles.

A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and Sandeep Shinde ordered the traffic police to remove the vehicles from the road and recover towing charges from their respective owners.

“Not only in Mumbai but in other cities too where Metro work is on, the width of roads has been considerably narrowed. It is the duty of the State to ensure immediate action for removal of illegally parked vehicles or abandoned vehicles. In fact, preventive action needs to be taken to ensure a free flow of traffic through such roads,” the bench was quoted as saying.

“We direct the state government to issue instructions to the police officers and authorities and to take measures to prevent illegal parking of vehicles on roads where Metro work is going on,” it said, adding that directions should also be issued to initiate strict and prompt action in respect of such vehicles.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Mumbai-resident Tekchand Khanchandani, who had sought action against abandoned vehicles in Goregaon and Jogeshwari that were adding to traffic woes.

The court, which had expanded the scope of the petition earlier, noted that traffic police had taken some action against such vehicles pursuant to its order last year.

However, Khanchandani alleged that the action was slow and only entailed towing of vehicles. The move did not act as a strong deterrent as owners were not being penalised for the violation, the resident claimed.

The bench observed that officials were not invoking Section 201 of the Motor Vehicles Act, which grants authorities power to levy a fine of up to Rs 50 per hour on owners who leave a disabled vehicle at a public place, in addition to recovering towing charges.

The court has now sought a compliance report from the state during the next hearing scheduled on March 29.

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