New Delhi: Delhi Traffic Police constables were only interested in hiding behind trees to catch people in order to meet their "targets" and "there is complete failure in traffic management," the Delhi High Court on Friday said.
"In other (Indian) cities world over, police officers stand in the middle of the road to deter people from violating rules. In Delhi, the traffic police constables hide behind trees only to catch people and meet targets and not to prevent or deter violations," a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva observed.
"There is complete failure of traffic management. Traffic violations go unaccounted," it said and added "why do traffic cops tolerate violations? Why are people allowed to drive on the wrong side?"
The court directed the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) to "ensure that traffic violations are booked and immediate action is taken so that there is smooth flow of traffic in areas where traffic jams and congestions take place."
It also directed the traffic police to ensure there was "zero tolerance of traffic violations", saying these measures "will aid in reduction of air pollution and will be a step towards safety and security of citizens of Delhi".
Observing that neither the Centre nor Delhi government has complied with its earlier orders to submit action plans to tackle the issue of air pollution in the city and the national capital region, the court gave them "one more opportunity" to comply with those directions before December 3, the next date of hearing.
The Centre was also asked to submit a status report with regard to the court's direction of April this year to set up more monitoring stations in the city to measure air quality.
While seeking the action plans, the bench remarked that the air quality in the city was getting worse as Justice Sachdeva experienced the "unbearable" effects of air pollution while he was in the Karol Bagh market area recently.
The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it on its own on the issue of increasing air pollution in Delhi.
The court, during the hearing, noted that Delhi Traffic Police had not complied with its direction of October 20 to submit an action plan with regard to setting up of an intelligent traffic management system.
The lawyer for traffic police responded that it had submitted a proposal for an intelligent traffic management system before the Home Ministry in February this year and the same was "pending consideration" there.
The court, thereafter, directed the Centre to file its response before December 3 with regard to the status of the proposal.