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HC hopes for expeditious completion widening of road from Dalgate to Hazratbal

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Srinagar: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the government to complete the construction and widening of the road from Dalgate to Hazratbal, the High Court expressed hope that the bottlenecks will be removed at the earliest so that the project is completed with requisite speed.

The petitioner, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Forum, also prayed for a direction to the respondents to remove all illegal constructions from Dalgate to Hazratbal, and accelerate the process of acquisition of structures coming in the alignment of the road.

Justices Sanjeev Kumar and Puneet Gupta disposed of the PIL filed in 2018 saying “we hope and trust that the bottlenecks, which are pointed out by the respondents in their reply affidavit in paragraph “b” under the head ‘Achievements’ are removed at the earliest and the remaining stretch of road from Kohna to Rainawari, is also completed with requisite speed”.

However, while closing the PIL, the judges left it open to the petitioner “to approach the court again if there is inordinate delay on the part of the respondents to complete the construction/widening of the road in question.”

Respondent authorities had filed a status report indicating the steps taken by them to complete the road project.

They claimed in their report “the stretch from Dalgate to Kohnakhan has already been developed to its four-lane status by way of construction of the bridge at Dalgate. The stretch from Rainawari Chowk to Zindshah Masjid has also been widened to its four-lane status.”

They also asserted that the stretch from Ashai Bagh Bridge to Nigeen Club and from Hazratbal to Habak Crossing has also been widened to its four-lane position.

“However, the stretch from Kohnakhan to Rainawari, where the process of acquisition is under process, is yet to be taken up for construction and widening,” the authorities acknowledged in their compliance report.

They informed the court that out of 206 structures, 179 structures have already been settled by the High Level Committee and removed by the R&B department. There are still 23 structures to be acquired on the said road stretch, which include 13 cases of compulsory acquisition for which the process has to be set in motion by the Collectorate of land acquisition.

They admitted that 11 structures are creating bottlenecks at Khayam, Khanyar and Rainawari Chowk.

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