Rashid Paul

HC asks R&B dept to submit complete details of work done so far

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Delay in road-widening from Dalgate to Hazratbal…

Srinagar, Sep 01: The J&K High Court today directed the Roads and Buildings (R&B) department (Kashmir) to submit details of the steps taken for widening of the road between Dalgate and Hazratbal area of the city.

Hearing a petition complaining of unwarranted delay in executing the road widening from Dalgate to Hazratbal, a bench comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe directed the Chief Engineer R&B 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.

The bench after perusing the status report filed by the Chief Engineer, observed that ‘the report is hopelessly deficient and gives no dates as well”.

It directed “the respondent officer shall, on affidavit, set out the dates with time-lines with regard to all the matters including approval of the proposal of road widening; the necessary steps for the purpose and the current status including the date wise steps taken in the acquisition process.”

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 bench also directed the other respondents in the writ petition to positively file their status reports within three weeks.

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.”

It directed the Registrar General of the High Court not to accept any undated objections/status reports/compliance reports or any other pleading from the parties.

The matter has been listed for next hearing on 25th of this September.

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