Delhi HC contempt notice to NDMC for leasing out Ramlila Maidan

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued a contempt notice to North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) for leasing out surface parking at Ramlila Maidan without seeking permission of the court.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued a contempt notice to North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) for leasing out surface parking at Ramlila Maidan without seeking permission of the court.

A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and S Muralidhar also paved the way for plying of cycle rickshaws on the main arterial road of Chandni Chowk area here while disposing of a plea against operating non-motorised vehicles (NMV).

"NDMC has flouted the courts order in regard to the allotment of the surface area of the parking... Notice of contempt is issue to NDMC Commissioner.

"Why contempt proceedings be not carried out against the NDMC Commissioner," the court asked, adding that the official shall remain present before the court in person on October 30.

It also said that NDMC Commissioner should explain the reason for his action and also produce relevant files in relation to the decision.

On the issue of plying of cycle rickshaws, the court rejected the contention of the Chandni Chowk Serve Vyapar Mandal (CCSVM) that their operating on the main arterial road of Chandni Chowk or creation of NMV (non-motorised vehicles) lanes is not envisaged in the Zonal Development Plan (ZDP), approved by the MOUD in 2010.

The high court has been monitoring the issue of redevelopment of the Walled City through a petition filed by the NGO Manushi Sangathan in 2007.

The court had last year directed the government to start implementing the development plan for the area and create dedicated non-motor vehicle lanes.

During the hearing, the court noted that in September last year it has directed the municipal bodies and Delhi Police to keep the parking lot at Ramlila Maidan free during festive season.

However, it observed that like last year this time also they are closing the area for two days (October 2 and 3) as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President are visiting.

Earlier this year, the government had submitted a proposal to ban motorised vehicles from the main road in Chandni Chowk and start a tram system for the convenience of pedestrians.

The court had directed the government to formulate a policy on e-rickshaws, stating that these vehicles would have to be considered while creating a lane system.

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