Can corporators be made responsible for cattle menace in their wards?

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Sep 2017 09:14:35


Staff Reporter,

Virtually giving an ultimatum to civic administration and elected representatives to take immediate steps to control cattle menace in the city, Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has stirred a hornet’s nest by mooting a suggestion to hold corporators responsible for cattle menace in their respective wards.

During last hearing the High Court had made its displeasure quite clear about freely roaming cattle on city roads which obstructs traffic and pose a threat to vehicle riders and had directed Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to submit the official list of cattle owners so that appropriate directions could be issued to them. Time and again the High Court had directed the authorities to streamline traffic and shoo away the cattle outside city limits. The much hyped plan of NMC fizzled out as cattle owners flatly refused to move outside city limits.

A division bench consisting of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Arun Upadhye while hearing a suo motu PIL about blatant violation of traffic rules and provisions of Motor Vehicles Act by teenagers who drive bikes and powerful scooterettes without valid driving licence, deteriorating parking scenario created due to coaching classes in residential localities, also pointed out that in earlier litigations regarding unauthorised constructions, some responsibilities were cast upon such
elected corporators as also on the Ward Officers.

Amicus Curiae Shreerang Bhandarkar pointed out that number of mishaps due to cattle obstructing main roads. NMC counsel Sudhir Puranik also stated that on several occasions, the cattle owners did not come forward to claim custody of the cattle, which have been lifted by the authorities and then it is required to be sent to some Goshala and thus public money is unnecessarily lost.

About irrational parking on main roads and in internal parts of localities due to coaching classes which are thriving in residential areas, the amicus curiae stated that the vehicular population is increasing and City roads have more than 18 lakh vehicular population including 10 lakh two wheelers. During last hearing he had cited menace of tuition classes in residential localities and quoted a complaint made by a vigilant citizen Anil Wadpalliwar to various authorities against commercial misuse of leasehold residential plots of the NIT by the occupants and brought to the notice of High Court as to how nuisance of vehicles flooding prominent residential areas like Dhantoli, Tilak Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Dharampeth, Ramdaspeth, Hanuman Nagar, Reshimbag etc was making life miserable for residents.

The High Court also wondered whether the Principals, Headmasters or then the persons taking tuitions can be called upon to obtain details of the vehicles being used by the students coming to them and prohibit use/entry of any other vehicle by such students.

The High Court had also made a general appeal to citizens to lodge complaint with the High Court registrar about cattle menace and irrational parking, after which the High Court registry received a letter received from architect Awantika Chitanvis regarding parking and other traffic violations in Nagpur along with recommendations under section 12(1) of the Maharashtra Lokayukta and Upa­Lokayuktas Act, 1971.

Amicus Curiae Shreerang Bhandarkar, Addl GP Deepak Thakre (State), Adv Sudhir Puranik (NMC), Adv Anand Parchure, Adv J B Kasat appeared in the matter.