February 1, 2018

Himachal High Court

Vijyender Sharma
SHIMLA------The High Court of H.P. has  directed the Chief Secretary to the Government of H.P. to forthwith convene a meeting within a period of eight weeks, of all the stakeholders i.e. Department of Tourism, HRTC, HP PWD, Municipal Corporation and the Department of Environment, Science and Technology and take appropriate decision on the issues related to the civic amenities to be provided to the commuters during the course of their travel,  by whatsoever mode of transport, on the State/National Highway.

                        A Division Bench comprising Hon'ble the Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol  and Justice Sandeep Sharma passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on the status report filed in an  FAO,  qua the availability of various  sanitary facilities,  on the National/State Highways in the State of H.P.

                        The Court, in its earlier order had shown deep concern on the aforesaid issues  and had directed the State to consider the suggestions i.e.  construction of public/private toilets on highways keeping in view the safety and security of women, making it mandatory for all the Dhabas/Restaurants on the highways to make available public toilets, providing medical aid on the highways at appropriate places, in case of any emergency and  directing Drivers/Conductors to stop their vehicles at places where the commuters can avail facility of toilet apart from taking refreshment.

                        The Court was of the view that just as Hon'ble Prime Minister of India has come out with the scheme of having toilets in every household, the State can have similar programme, as a mass movement, for having toilets/convenience centres for moving population.     

                        During the hearing, the  Court observed that the aforesaid departments, in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Science and Technology can develop a Portal or an App, making available information with regard to places of such convenience centres.  The court further directed that both electronic and print media also,   be engaged for informing the general public, more so the tourists about the availability of such convenience centres.

                        The Court posted the matter for 07.03.2018.

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