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Posted at: May 16, 2019, 7:46 AM; last updated: May 16, 2019, 10:28 AM (IST)

Speed humps for animal safety in UT

Traffic cops apprise High Court of measures to check speeding motorists
Speed humps for animal safety in UT

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15

Six months after the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo motu cognisance of ailing safety and care facilities for animals in the city, the Chandigarh Police have claimed initiation and implementation of a slew of measures, including setting up of “tabletop speed breakers” and special teams for checking speed on “vulnerable” roads.

As the suo motu or “court on its own motion” case came up for resumed hearing, an affidavit on behalf of the Chandigarh Traffic Police underscoring the steps initiated was placed before the Division Bench of Justice Mahesh Grover and Justice Lalit Batra.

Among other things, it stated that UT Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary, Engineering, and the Municipal Commissioner had been asked to install “tabletop speed breakers” and “drive slow wild animal crossing area” signboards at all vulnerable points adjoining the forest area to control the speed of motor vehicles for the safety of both motorists and wild animals.

Instructions had also been issued for setting up a special team for putting in place speed check barriers at all vulnerable points along the forest area.

Another team had been set up to conduct awareness campaigns for educating motorists on the need to drive slow and in lane on stretches vulnerable to wildlife movement. “The Chandigarh Traffic Police have also started a special drive for challenging motorists violating the speed limits on the vulnerable roads… It has also started drives for issuing challans for drunken driving on the vulnerable roads… The very object of these special drives is to make motorists more aware of the fact that these are sensitive areas with animal crossing points,” it added.

The Bench also took on record the submission by UT senior standing counsel Pankaj Jain that some measures were also being taken. Perturbed by the viciously ruthless manner in which the “victim of accident at human hands” was handled, Justice Grover had taken cognisance of the matter before directing it to be treated as a petition in public interest.

“A magnificent creature wallowing in its own blood with battered limbs, writhing in pain for an hour without any help — a victim of an accident at human hands, can best sum of the care the City Beautiful affords to its distressed animals while caretakers of the forest and wildlife make tall claims in this regard,” Justice Grover had asserted while taking suo motu cognisance.

Justice Grover had added that even when help arrived, there was no veterinary doctor to even relieve the poor creature of its pain. Rather, he was removed from the site in a brutally insensitive manner by netting and tying it to be dragged in a pickup van.

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