HC seeks status of roads, Expressway in Kashmir

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Oct 3: High Court today sought status and progress of various roads including modernization of four lane Expressway in Kashmir division from concerned authorities by next date.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe sought status report from National Highway Authority of India, Border Roads Organization and Public Works Department with regard to position and improvement of various road connectivities which are under the supervision of department in Kashmir Division by next date.
Court at the very outset has been informed by NHAI counsel that the four lane Expressway from Banihal to Srinagar has been commissioned and made operational but certain bridges in between are constructed and the construction is underway and the same will be completed as soon as possible.
With regard to Srinagar-Sopore road Court has been informed that the said road has been divided into three segments and these segments are under the control of NHAI, R&B and BRO and all these agencies have been asked to ensure necessary repair of the road.
About the Srinagar-Sonamarg road, advocate Tahir Shamsi on behalf of NHAI apprised the Court that the road has been repaired. However, certain stretches are yet to be repaired as the same has not been handed over to BRO by civil authorities.
From Bandipora to Sumbal, the Court was informed that the road is about 35 Kms and its first phase has been completed by 90 percent and the time line for second phase has been fixed by 2020 which the counsel submitted before the court as so far as only 20 Kms is the length of the road.
Court said the submission of petitioner counsel has some subsistence and asked the authorities to submit the time line for the remaining second phase.
Court has also sought progress of FIR as registered by VOK for embezzlement of crores of rupees by R&B officials which were sanctioned and meant for the construction and widening of road from Sumbal to Bandipora.
On August 29 Court had also directed the Vigilance Organization of Kashmir to report the Court about the status of FIR as registered in embezzlement of funds.
The direction came to be passed in a PIL filed by Civil Society Tral for road widening and repairing of dilapidated roads in Kashmir division and the Court has widened the scope of the PIL for all the roads in Kashmir province.
Court further said, in case the conditions of the roads is as complained, the respondents shall take all necessary steps for expediting the repairs as are required.
Court Commissioners are already in place which have been appointed by the High Court so that the actual and factual position of various roads be brought before the Court and the Commissioners from time to time after inspections of their respective sites are regularly informing the court about the road conditions.