The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) today said that work on National Highway-6 to repair the damage caused during the recent monsoon would be completed by December 15.
The NHAI informed this during the hearing of a PIL filed by Kynjaimon Amse in the Meghalaya High Court.
At the same time, the division bench of the High Court asked the NHAI to ensure that more funds are allotted for the creation, maintenance and upkeep of roads in the State, whether by taking over State highways as a part of the national highways network as has been done elsewhere in the country or by building new roads to ensure greater connectivity in the hilly terrain.
The State government however sought some time from the court to indicate a more concrete roadmap for improvement of road condition.
The High Court reminded the State government that the need here is for roads “and roads that can last as concrete roads would, because of the incessant rains in the State”.
“While it is appreciated that funds may not be available to have the ideal road connectivity, yet the State must strive to complete the work, including the maintenance work, within a time-frame,” the court said.
The court also asked the State government to prepare a bar-chart indicating the areas where the work would be taken up or completed and other areas where maintenance work would be undertaken, whether on a regular or periodic basis.
“There is no doubt that the quantum of money allocated for roads has to be ascertained after assessing the requirements on several other important fronts, including healthcare, education and the like. Yet, it cannot be ignored that access to adequate roads is a basic right that has to be reached to the citizens in the State,” the High Court said.
The court also decided to let the matter appear five weeks from today so that the State government can come up with a more concrete and time-bound roadmap. The next hearing will be held on December 13.