DELHI HIGH COURT LAW INSIDER IN

Delhi HC ordered agencies to get rid of cables, hanging wires in Chandni Chowk

Sreya Kanugula

On 12th January 2021, the High Court of Delhi ordered several agencies including MTNL, BSES, and North MCD to follow the directive to remove all the cables along with the hanging wires in the area of Chandni Chowk, which is currently facing redevelopment.

The companies of mobile service providers were instructed to do the same.

The HC made their directive crystal clear and also mentioned as to what would happen if the agencies did not comply with it.

It was further clarified that they would tempt an action of contempt to be launched against them if they fail to comply.

The order was passed by the bench after a plea was submitted by the counsel representing the nodal officers, appointed previously by the court, about an inspection of Chandni Chowk’s redevelopment project happening on the 28th of December in 2020 and one of the agencies, MTNL refusing to co-operate with it.

Many feeder pillars haven’t been shifted despite the continuous directions given with the project’s regard.

The conducted inspection was of Chandni Chowk’s entire stretch, that is, from the Red Fort road all the way to the road named Fatehpuri Masjid.

The counsel, Naushad Ahmed Khan, advocating on the behest of the Chief Nodal Officer along with the other nodal officers belonging to the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC), stated that the wires that were hanging along with the cables are yet to be cleared away and sought an order to enforce the agencies to clear them.

To this, Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli stated that “if those hanging wires are removed, half of the Chandni Chowk will be left without electricity.”

Naushad Ahmed Khan explained to the court how the Chandni Chowk redevelopment project is quite possibly the Republic Day tableau’s theme for 2021 for New Delhi.

He further explained that these agencies weren’t complying with the project’s timeline. He also informed them that these wires on either side of the entire stretch of the colonnades or footpaths weren’t electrical but may possibly be internet/DTH cables.

The SRDC officers had been given orders to ensure the clearing of the hanging wires, provided by service and cable operators throughout the entire Chandni Chowk by January 7, 2021.

They were also asked by the North MCD officials and the Delhi Police to discipline and penalize with regards to the given provisions, in case of the reappearance of the wires in the future after they are removed.

Those given provisions are written underneath the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act along with the Defacement of Public Property Act.