LUDHIANA: Acting on a petition filed by a traffic advisor, Punjab and Haryana high court has issued a notice to the state governments of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh, and the Government of India on making adequate provisions for enforcement of "right to walk" as a fundamental right.
In his petition, traffic advisor Navdeep Asija had sought directions for enforcement of "right to walk", while claiming that it was part of "Right to life" under Article 21 of Constitution of India. "In the last few years, number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Indian cities has gone up by 40%-60%. No citizen should be deprived of his/her fundamental right by removing footpaths or by just giving priority to motor vehicles," the petitioner said, while citing the deaths of cyclists and pedestrians in road accidents in Chandigarh, Mohali and Ludhiana.
The petition added that as per a report by the Union ministry of urban development report in 2010, 50-55% of the people still walked and cycled in Indian cities. "Ironically, cities of developed nations are trying hard to achieve the target of walking and cycling to make their cities sustainable. They are facing the consequences of this so-called motor revolution. The logic of the National Urban Transport Policy 2005, which was to give superior rights to the people as compared to vehicles, was not being followed," he said.
The petitioner prayed that the court should protect the rights of vulnerable road users by way of giving Constitutional protection and inclusion of their rights in the transportation policy.