Thursday, February 22, 2024

Patna High Court disposes of PIL seeking new road

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The Patna High Court closed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking issuance of a direction to the Respondent-Authorities for constructing the Kaimur Stambh-Hawai Adda Road in Bhabua at Kaimur.   

The petitioner prayed that a direction be issued to make requisition in terms of the Land Acquisition Law and the Rules for acquiring the land in terms of the proposal for the purpose of construction of the road. The respondent No.5 (The Executive Engineer) in the Road Construction Department has filed a counter-affidavit taking a stand that grievance has been raised for construction of a road which comes under the jurisdiction of the Rural Works Department. Having said so, it is also the specific stand that one Bypass road i.e., Bhabua Bus stand to Jai Prakash Chowk has already been constructed, on which smooth communication is available.   

The respondent Nos. 6 and 7 (The Engineer-in-Chief and The Executive Engineer) in the Rural Works Department have filed a separate counter-affidavit. They have stated that they have taken steps for construction and maintenance of a portion of the road (350 metres length). The detailed project report under the Bihar Rural Road Maintenance Policy, 2018 has been prepared and forwarded for administrative approval.

They have, thus, asserted to have taken steps for the stretch of the road which comes under their jurisdiction, and as such, petitioner’s grievance, insofar as respondents in the Rural Works Department is concerned, has been taken care of.   

Considering the rival submissions, the division bench of Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Madhuresh Prasad found that this is not a case where people are suffering due to any area being inaccessible. 

“Though further development of a road or road connectivity is an important facet of convenience for general public at large, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the issues brought before this Court, by way of instant Public Interest Litigation, has been given due attention by the Authorities, which is apparent from the affidavits. The Government must be allowed to proceed with the matter for which administrative approval has been sought as per due priority of the road in-question having regard to various administrative and financial issues, which are essentially matters of executive policy,” the order reads.

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