Taking cognizance of the digging of public roads under its purview, the office of the Commissioner of Police, Guwahati on Tuesday invoked prohibitory orders under the Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) prohibiting all works involving digging public roads with certain exceptions.
In an official notification dated June 13, the Guwahati Police Commissionerate noted that different Government agencies are undertaking projects within its jurisdiction and these agencies have awarded contracts of implementing these projects to different firms.
The notification mentioned that it has been made to appear that these firms are resorting to unauthorised digging of roads and without ensuring the basic safety measures around the dug-up portion of the road which has posed serious safety concerns to the public.
Moreover, this has resulted in "unfortunate incidents leading to loss of precious human lives" lately, noted the Guwahati Police Commissionerate.
The notification further observed that it has become "imperative to put a stop to such unauthorised and illegal activities by these firms in the interest of preventing any further such mishaps and ensuring public safety."
The order read, "Therefore, pursuant to the powers vested in me under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 read with Govt. of Assam Notification No. HMA.735/2008/Pt-1/243, dated 24.12.2014, I, Sri Imdad Ali, APS, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Admn), Guwahati do hereby issue this order prohibiting all works which involve digging of public roads within the jurisdiction of Police Commissionerate, Guwahati."
Meanwhile, certain exceptions were also allowed to the orders. They are:
Any work involving digging of public roads shall only be carried out with written permission from the concerned Road Owning Agency like PWD (Roads) or from the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metropolitan) District. The concerned Government agency undertaking such work shall obtain the necessary permission and authorise the implementing firm to undertake such work.
The Government agency/implementing firm, after obtaining the necessary permission for digging of public roads from the concerned Road Owning Agency like PWD (Roads) or from the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metropolitan) District shall intimate the same to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Guwahati. The intimation should include details of the road/street proposed to be dugged along with proposed date of commencement and the estimated time period required to complete the work.
Along with the intimation, the Government agency/implementing firm must attach all the necessary papers, including the written permission from concerned Road Owning Agency like PWD (Roads) or from the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metropolitan) District, a written undertaking of adhering to all the basic safety measures like barricading, putting up of reflective signage, warning lights etc, the details of the implementing firms and the supervisors who will be responsible for the said work.
No construction material or excavated earth will be dumped haphazardly on the road. There should be designated space for storing such material having all the basic safety measures to avoid any mishaps and without causing any hindrance to the traffic movement.
No such work shall be undertaken without proper co-ordination with Guwahati Traffic Police.
The order also said, "This order shall come into effect immediately upon receipt and remain in force until further notice. Any violation of these directives shall be considered an offence under the appropriate provisions of law and legal action will be initiated accordingly."
"Any person aggrieved by this order is, however, at liberty to appear before me for filing written objection, if any, for cancellation/modification of the order," it added.