HC seeks progress report on widening of NH-44

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Nov 19: High Court today directed the National Highway Authority of India to inform it about the progress of widening of National Highway from Banihal to Ramban and Nashri to Chenani.
The Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Tashi Rabstan while hearing a PIL on the condition of roads in the Valley, directed the NHAI counsel to apprise it about the road widening from Banihal to Ramban and Nashri to Chenani.
Union counsel Tahir Shamsi submitted before the Division Bench that the maintenance of these roads has been handed over to NHAI and in turn it has allotted the contract of these roads to RAMKI Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.
Court, after these submission made by the counsel, sought status of road widening of National Highway from Banihal to Ramban and Nashri to Chenani.Court has also sought status of roads from Border Roads Organization and Public Works Department coming into their jurisdiction.
It may be noted here that the Court has already appointed a number of court commissioners to oversee and supervise the condition of roads and inform the Court about the same so that effective directions be passed to the authorities to maintain these roads in Kashmir Division.
Meantime, Executive Engineer PHE has to submit a report indicating there-in the steps taken for shifting the water pipes on Tral to Sathoora road so that the road is maintained by the agency for traffic movement.
The direction came to be passed after the Executive Engineer of R&B department made a statement before the court that his department has not maintained the road, reason being there are some water pipes which are scheduled to be removed and shifted to a feasible place by the PHE department.
He has already submitted before the court that his department would maintain the road by macadamizing it as and when the concerned PHE department shifts those water pipes to a feasible place.
On this aspect, division bench asked the PHE counsel to inform the Court forthwith by filing a status report indicating there-in the steps taken by the concerned department so far as shifting of water pipes to some other place are concerned.
The PIL has been filed by Civil Society Tral for road widening and repairing of dilapidated roads in South Kashmir and the Court has widened the scope of the said PIL for all the roads in Kashmir Province.
Court further said, in case the condition of other roads is not good for traffic movement, the respondents shall take all necessary steps for expediting the repairs as are required for such roads.