Rashid Paul

Status of roads: HC puts PWD on notice

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“Inform about status of road improvement or face action”

Srinagar, Sep 25: The J&K High Court on Tuesday warned the Public Works Department (PWD) of appropriate action if it fails to apprise the court of the latest position of the roads in Kashmir.

A division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Tashi Rabstan sought status report from PWD with regard to position and improvement of various roads and overall connectivity by next date.

If the court has not been apprised of the actual status within time appropriate action will follow, warned the court.

It also directed the Vigilance Organization of Kashmir to report about the status of FIR as registered in embezzlement of funds which were sanctioned for the construction and widening of road from Sumbal to Bandipora.

Hearing a petition complaining of unwarranted delay in executing the road-widening from Dalgate to Hazratbal, the court had earlier also directed the Chief Engineer Roads & Buildings Kashmir to file on affidavit mentioning date-wise the steps taken for the purpose besides informing on the current status of the process of land acquisition for the project.

It also asked the officer to mention with time-line the steps being taken cumulatively on carrying out the project so far.

Referring to the lack of funds for the initiation of land acquisition process as mentioned in the status report, the bench directed the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, the land acquiring authority, “to give specific details of the steps taken for acquisition, release of compensation and taking-over of possession of the required land as well as the status of the fund availability towards compensation which is payable”.

The court observed “a practice has developed that respondent officials file the objections/status reports/compliance reports and other pleadings without mentioning the dates on which the same have been signed or filed”.

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