Elected govt doesn’t need police nod for event: Gopal Rai
Hitting out at Delhi Police for rejecting the proposal for a ‘Car-Free Day’ later this month, Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai on Monday asserted that an elected government does not need to seek prior approval for holding such events.
Rai said he will meet LG Najeeb Jung on Tuesday and seek the reason behind the police’s stand against the ‘Car- Free Day’ here on October 22, planned on the stretch between the Red Fort and India Gate.
Police Commissioner BS Bassi had denied permission to the ruling AAP’s ambitious ‘Car-Free Day’ proposal saying it had not held “prior consultations” with the force before taking the decision in this regard.
In his letter to Delhi Chief Secretary KK Sharma, Bassi said the date set for the plan — October 22 — coincided with Dussehra and that the decision in this regard appeared “hasty and quite impractical”.
Slamming the stand taken by Delhi Police, Rai said: “I believe that an elected government, be it in a state or at the Centre, does not require to take prior information from the police before holding any event. “Police is only informed that government is going to hold this event.”
He also added: “We got the letter of the commissioner in which he said that ‘Car-Free Day’ cannot be held. There were three-four points we read in this letter.
Bassi wrote that government did not hold prior consultation with police.”
Bassi had told Sharma that being the primary agency responsible for <g data-gr-id="36">regulation</g> of traffic in the city, Delhi Police is the first stakeholder vis-a-vis any event that has a direct impact on the flow of traffic.
Delhi Police, thus, needs to be consulted before any such event is organised, he said.
Rai sought to counter Delhi Police, saying, “In his letter, Police Commissioner also mentioned that there is also <g data-gr-id="40">movement</g> of <g data-gr-id="41">judge</g> on the stretch (between Red Fort and India Gate). There will be no such movement as there is <g data-gr-id="39">holiday</g>.”
The transport minister <g data-gr-id="38">said</g> “we want to make them (traffic police) a partner because, without their partnership, there is no solution for it”.
“When we had held a first conference, we called traffic police. At another meeting, too, we called the force over the ‘Car-Free Day’ proposal. In view of traffic congestion on Dussehra (October 22), we decided to hold the event from 7 am to 12 noon.
“Till 12 noon, there is no traffic on this stretch (from Red Fort and India Gate),” the minister said.
The ‘Car-Free Day’ aims to encourage people to use public transport and reduce pollution, the minister said, adding that he will meet the LG on Tuesday on the matter and tell him why Delhi government had planned such an event.