Warangal: Permanent Lok Adalat in Warangal has ordered the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) to pay Rs 1 as compensation to two petitioners for the inconvenience caused while commuting on the Balasamudram road.

The Adalat has also ordered criminal action against the offenders and immediate action to remove encroachments at the location and to reconstruct the demolished part of the divider to ensure safety.

Trouble started on May 19, opposite the HP petrol pump on the road connecting Hanamkonda bus station and Nakkalagutta via Balasamudram. Some individuals demolished the divider and made an unauthorised ‘U-Turn’ provision for the benefit of the petrol pump customers. Ironically, this is a mere hundred metres away from the U-turn that already exists.

That apart, speed breakers were also installed right in the middle of the road causing numerous mishaps, especially during the nights.

The petitioners, Thota Pavan and Ennamsetty Akhil, who frequent the road daily, brought this to the notice of GMWC on umpteen occasions but to no avail. Exasperated at the civic body’s lethargy, they approached the Permanent Lok Adalat, Warangal.

Thota Pavan, a social activist and one of the petitioners, told NewsMeter that they tried reaching out to concerned officials from GWMC. “Several representations were filed, but none responded. We also filed 20 complaints using the GMWC app.”

Meanwhile, according to the petitioners, during the trial, the petrol pump owners tried manipulating the case. Pavan said, “They tried manipulating the case with fake documents from traffic police, ACP, the Municipal Commissioner and the residents’ associations in the area. They claimed there is no objection from any parties regarding their encroachment. By doing this, they dragged the case for five months.”

When asked why the duo claimed Rs 1 from GWMC, Pawan told NewsMeter that they needed to attach some meaning to this case. “People must know their rights. They need not always run behind government officials. They also have a judicial system to protect them from injustice. We requested Rs 1 as compensation so that our fight will become a subject of discussion, and more people become aware of their rights.”

Given their application under Section 22C of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 for settlement of the dispute, the Adalat, on Wednesday, issued its verdict in favour of the petitioners.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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