North Gazette News/Shimla
Himachal High Court has ordered to committee under Chief Secretary to monitor the progress of Theog-Hatkoti-Rohroo road and asked it to submit its separate status reports on each and every hearing.
While accepting the writ petition on abnormal delay in completing a World Bank-funded multi-million road project in Shimla’s prominent apple belt that is filed by former BJP minister Narender Bragta, High Court, however, excluded the petitioner from the case as he was a former BJP minister.
A division bench of of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan while accepting the petition observed that the court deem it proper to take suo motu cognisance and treat the petition as public interest litigation.
Bragta had sought directions to the government to complete the construction of the 80-km-long Theog-Hatkoti-Rohroo stretch efficiently and properly within the stipulated time frame of June 1, 2016.
To ensure that the construction of the work is properly and efficiently executed, the bench constituted a committee headed by the chief secretary. It directed the committee to monitor the progress of the work and submit its separate status reports on each and every hearing.
While directing the state to file the present status report and the affidavits/replies within two weeks, the court listed the matter for next hearing on December 17.
“We cannot be oblivious to the fact that the road is really an important one and is the lifeline for large public residing in the area concerned, therefore, it becomes the duty of the state and the said contractor to complete the construction of the road and bridges as early as possible,” said the court.
“It’s also the duty of the courts to ensure that public interests are
protected and grievances are redressed.”
During the hearing advocate general Shrawan Dogra argued that the petitioner had publicly proclaimed and declared that the BJP would not sit idle and take the issue to the court. Therefore, the petition was outcome of political considerations.
Bragta has filed the writ petition in two capacities, one in his personal capacity being the permanent resident of the said area and secondly being an ex-minister, also concerned with the welfare of the poor public of the area.