Sanjay Karol, CJ.
1. We fully appreciate the efforts put in by Mr. Shailesh K. Yadav, Municipal Commissioner, Agartala Municipal Corporation, and Mr. Pinaki Samanta, Superintendent of Police, Traffic, West Tripura in addressing the issues of unauthorized/illegal parking on public roads, as also removing unauthorized hawkers/street vendors on some part of the public premises, situate within the municipal limits of Agartala town.
2. We have interacted with the aforesaid officers. Also we notice that Mr. L.H. Darlong, Principal Secretary, Transport Department is present in Court. We have also interacted with him on all the issues, subject matter of the present lis.
3. We notice that long ago, i.e. in the year 2013, the District Magistrate & Collector, West Tripura had notified certain areas falling within the municipal limits of Agartala Municipal Corporation as No parking/Paid parking zones. We are of the considered view that the said officer has to apply his mind afresh, keeping in view the attending facts and changed circumstances, more specifically the economic development which has taken place in the recent past as also increase of number of motor vehicles which are plying within the municipal limits. Perhaps, certain roads are to be earmarked as "No-parking" zones; certain roads are to be earmarked where parking can be allowed only on one side of the road; and with certain roads marked where parking may be allowed on both sides of the roads.
4. Well, on this count, we constitute a committee comprising of the District Magistrate & Collector, West Tripura, Municipal Commissioner, Agartala Municipal Corporation and Superintendent of Police, Traffic, West Tripura, who shall examine the issue afresh and pass necessary order(s) within next 2(two) working days.
5. It is also brought to our notice that the Superintendent of Police, Traffic, West Tripura does not have the wherewithal to deal with the menace of unauthorized parking/hawking within the municipal limits.
6. On this count, we are of the considered view that police force must be fully equipped and modernized. Police can procure portable e-challan devices, which would only enhance the efficiency and help in arresting the surmounting problem at the earliest.
7. As such, we direct that Chief Secretary, Tripura to ensure that all necessary action is taken and all such machine(s)/tools are made available to the enforcement agencies, positively within 2(two) weeks for as we are informed they are easily available in the market. The Chief Secretary shall file his personal affidavit in this regard.
8. On this count, we are also informed that police department does not have sufficient number of cranes, mobile vehicles etc. We see no reason as to why such infrastructure cannot be maintained by either directly purchasing or hiring the same from open market.
9. We are informed that such cranes etc. are easily available in the market and can easily be hired. As such, we direct the Superintendent of Police, Traffic, West Tripura to forthwith hire such cranes/machines for lifting of vehicles which are unauthorisedly ad illegally parked on the streets.
10. Obviously, to ensure compliance of the provisions of the Tripura Municipal Act, 1994 and the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and orders passed by this Court from time to time, certain human resource is required to be engaged by the enforcement agencies.
11. We see no reason as to why unemployed youth be engaged for such purpose. Casual/labourers on daily wages can be engaged on contract basis for such purpose. This, of course, would not imply that the implementing agencies would generate permanent employment to such workers. On payment of minimal wages, they can be engaged without any commitment for any nature of government job.
12. As such, we direct the Superintendent of Police, Traffic, West Tripura to forthwith engage such labourers and hire machineries.
13. The next question which arises for consideration is as to from where would the money come from, for undertaking such a task.
14. We have interacted with the Principal Secretary, Transport Department. He informs us that under the provisions of Road Safety Fund Rules, 2017, in the last two financial years, i.e. 2017- 18 and 2018-19, a sum of Rs. 13 crores (approximately) stands collected as fine etc., which was to be apportioned in equal measure between the Transport Department and other enforcement agencies, including the District Administration/police. He also informs us that Rs. 70 lakhs (approx.) stood apportioned and allocated to the Superintendent of Police, Traffic, West Tripura, Agartala.
15. Mr. Pinaki Samanta, S.P., Traffic clarifies that thus far he has only received Rs. 20 lakhs and the remaining Rs. 50 lakhs has yet not been released.
16. As such, we direct the Chief Secretary, Government of Tripura to ensure forthwith release of the balance amount, within next 2(two) working days. Chief Secretary shall file his personal affidavit of compliance in this regard before the next date.
17. Mr. Nitai Choudhury, learned Government Advocate, undertakes to communicate the order to the Chief Secretary for ensuring necessary compliance.
18. Superintendent of Police, Traffic, West Tripura shall also ensure that proper signage indicating "No-parking" zones/road markings indicating parking areas are affixed at appropriate places. They must be visible to all.
19. At this stage, we are informed that the road markings and signage are to be put up by the Public Works Department (R&B). We are informed that there is a designated post of Chief Engineer for such department.
20. As such, we direct the Chief Engineer, PWD(R&B) to forthwith have the needful done. Needless to add, money for doing the needful can be provided by the Transport Department, Government of Tripura. Mr. Darlong, Principal Secretary, Transport Department states that money allocated under the Road Safety fund Rules, 2017 shall be provided for such purpose.
21. We notice that under the provisions of the Tripura Municipal Act, 1994, the Tripura Building Rules, 2017 were notified whereby it was almost mandatory for every building beyond 70 sq. meters of covered area to have a car parking. However, these rules were amended vide a notification No.F.2(466)-UDD/GL/TCPO/2018/599- 627 dated 19.02.2019, whereby the said provision was done away with, effectively that, in the event of shortfall of parking place of any building up to 3(three) and more than 3(three) stories, the requirement of prepaid parking space can be dispensed with by paying a compounding fee of Rs. 1,00,000 (one lakh); Rs. 1,50,000 (one and half lakh) respectively.
22. At this point in time, we do not intend to comment on such subordinate legislative wisdom or legality th
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ereof, but only express our concern, that perhaps it may require revisitation. 23. As such, we direct the Chief Secretary, Government of Tripura to have the matter examined and take a decision in that regard. On this aspect, he shall also file his personal affidavit within 2(two) weeks. 24. In the meanwhile, we direct that no authority, be it the Government or the Commissioner, Agartala Municipal Corporation, shall sanction/approve any building plan which does not meet the requirement of parking, as laid down in the Tripura Building Rules, 2017. In any case, all approval shall be placed before the Court. 25. List the matter on 13.08.2019. 26. Copy of this order be supplied to learned counsel for the parties by way of 'dasti'.