The Meghalaya High Court has directed the Supervising Engineer of PWD (Roads) overseeing the construction of Agia-Mendhipara-Phulbari-Tura (AMPT) Road to ensure that the road standard and quality as required is maintained such that there is no deterioration in the condition of the road shortly after the completion of construction.
The division bench of the High Court passed the order today on the PIL by a lawyer A H Hazarika.
The High Court also said that the State government should seek a warranty so that the contractors are liable to carry out the repair work if a road appears damaged or gives way within a specified time after the completion of its construction.
During today’s hearing, the State government informed the court that sufficient progress has been made in the construction of AMPT Road and that at least a 33 km stretch has been completed and work is in full swing in the rest of the stretches.
However, Hazarika, appearing in person, had complained that of the 41 km stretch, work on a stretch of 33 km has been satisfactorily completed.
He however, complained that the work on the remaining part of the 41 km stretch has been awarded to six different contractors and the work undertaken by them is sub-standard.
Hazarika expressed apprehension that within a month or so after the purported completion, the road may subside and the black-topping may no longer be in existence.
On the engagement of several contractors over several short stretches of the AMPT Road, the State government said that this has been done to expedite the work, particularly since local contractors do not have the resources to undertake work on larger stretches and complete the same within a short time.
The High Court has decided to let the matter appear eight weeks from today in the hope that substantial progress would have been made by then. The next hearing would be held on February 20, 2023.