Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts and National Green Tribunal
National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) should take immediate steps to rectify every road under its control in Kerala within one week, directed the High Court there.
The repair works must be done either through the present concessionaires or new contractors without further delay, the court added.
In their capacity as the heads of the district disaster management authorities, district collectors have a definitive role to play. They should issue orders concerning any road in which potholes are found and take necessary action against the jurisdictional engineer, contractors or any other person who may be responsible.
“We can neither wait for another victim nor can we let the roads of Kerala to be killing fields — whether under the NHAI, public works department or the local self government institutions,” the court said.
The High Court order came in response to cases of accidents taking place due to the bad condition of roads on the national highway.
Amicus curiae brought to the court’s notice that a person had recently died falling into a pothole on the national highway at Athani village in Thrissur district.
Also, some stretches of the national highway, particularly at Chalakkudy, Kodungalloor and Orumanayoor, have developed huge craters and potholes.
NHAI conceded that there were some problems with the stretch in question. The counsel representing NHAI said the stretch in question is part of the highway covered under a ‘Build-Operate-Transfer’ agreement.
The National Green Tribunal directed Odisha’s chief secretary to act against those mining sand illegaly from the embankments of the Baitarani river.
The court also sought appropriate orders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 against the offenders.
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