The Orissa High Court has directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to undertake the repair of the ill-maintained highway passing through the mining belts of Keonjhar district expeditiously.
In response to public interest litigation, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice B.P. Routray directed the engineering authorities of NHAI to satisfactorily complete and comply report to the court before the next hearing of the matter.
The division bench seeking compliance reports from the highway authorities posted the matter for further hearing on 6 November.
The poor state of the highway marked by large potholes in multiple patches was resulting in rising cases of road accidents in the area, endangering the lives of local settlers including school-going children, the petition had pointed out.
Despite the poor condition of the road, the NHAI continues to arbitrarily collect toll cess from three toll plazas in violation of Rule-8 of the National Highway Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008, it added.
‘The Court directs that the Executive Engineer concerned and his counterpart in the NHAI will undertake joint periodic inspections and file status reports on the percentage of satisfactory completion of each of the repair works. The first of such reports be filed by the next date of hearing”, the HC ruled.