The condition of the road at Kuliang village and Pyrtakuna village in East Jaintia Hills are alarming.
This was observed by the division bench of the Meghalaya High Court today after seeing the photos submitted by Kynjaimon Amse who filed a PIL regarding the condition of National Highway-6.
Amse who filed affidavit in response to the report filed earlier by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) also enclosed some photographs regarding the condition of the NH-6 at Sonapyrdi village, around Sonapur Tunnel, Kuliang, Pyrtakuna, Dona Umbluh and Ratacherra-Malidor (Assam Border).
After seeing the photos, the High Court said the “condition of the road at Kuliang and Pyrtakuna is alarming to say the least, inasmuch as, the picture of the bridge as annexed, even to the naked eye, appears that the bridge is impassable and unfit for vehicular movement”.
“This court notes with serious concern the condition of this stretch of the highway. Though submissions have been made in this regard by the learned counsel for the respondent No. 1 (NHAI), that tenders have since been floated, and contracts have been awarded for repair of the same, which he submits will require some more time, the abject condition of the road in the view of this court requires and deserves to be attended to, on an urgent footing,” the High Court said.
NHAI lawyer S Sengupta produced before the High Court a communication dated February 6, 2024 signed by the NHAI Project Director, including a status report as on February 5, 2024, with regard to the Jowai-Ratacherra road on NH-6.
Though some pictures depict that some repair works are undergoing, as seen on page 5, 6 and 7, the High Court found that the NHAI Project Director has recycled the photographs at page 8 and 9, since the same photographs were produced before the court in the earlier status report dated December 11, 2023.
“This court expresses its displeasure at the flippant attitude adopted by the respondent No. 1 (NHAI), in conducting the proceedings, which are in public interest,” the division bench said.
Following the court’s observation, Sengupta, the lawyer for NHAI, tendered his apology by submitting that these photographs have inadvertently been included again. He also assured that this will not be repeated in future.
While accepting the apology, the High Court also allowed the plea by Sengupta to file a detailed affidavit and status report, to the last affidavit filed by the petitioner.
The court also ordered for urgent repairs of the damaged stretches of the NH-6. The next hearing on the matter will be held on March 5.