High Court pulls government bodies for delay in JK road widening project

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Monday came down heavily on government bodies for failing to complete road widening projects on time on Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only functional all-time road connectedthe Kashmir Valley and rest of the country.
The Court expressed that National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), a nodal agency of GoI for management of national highways, Deputy Commissioner Ramban, and Collector Land Acquisition will be taken on board if the work on the road-widening projects will be not completed immediately. According to the court, the slow pace of work on the various road projects has been responsible for huge losses to public exchequer.
The Division Bench of High Court Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh, termed the response filed by the Project Director NHAI Purshotum Kumar, who was present in the court, as ‘ambiguous, incomplete, and vague’ when he cited some land acquisition disputes, shifting of electricity towers, felling of trees, responsible for the slow pace of projects.
The court after hearing the officer directed him to file his response as to why the process was not initiated for acquiring the land, shifting of towers or felling of trees before starting the project. It also directed Collector Land Acquisition, a revenue officer for acquiring land for road projects, to file response on issue of providing compensation to those whose land has been acquired for the project.
Deputy Commissioner Ramban was also asked to respond to the contention of Project Director with regard to felling of trees which is one of the reasons in delaying the project.

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