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NHAI blamed for pathetic conditions of roads in State


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If any accident happens due to bad condition of roads or signages, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) may be held responsible and made to pay compensation, Madras high court has warned.

A division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha, making the remarks during PIL proceedings taken up on Monday, said: “It is made clear that at some point of time this court also may take the call that if any accident takes place on account of the bad condition of the road, signage, NHAI may also be held liable and responsible for compensating the victims of the road accident.

The judges issued the caution as an advocate-commissioner appointed by the court to monitor the progress made by NHAI on the Maduravoyal-Walajahpet stretch of NH4, submitted in his report that it appeared that the patch works done recently and lighting on the entire stretch were extremely poor and that they were a matter of ‘grave concern’.

The report also pointed out the absence of proper traffic signals and restrooms along the stretch and the poor frequency of highway patrols. Noting down the submissions, the bench made it clear that the stretch of road should be relaid be strictly in conformity with the Indian Road Standard Congress.

The judges also suggested that it is high time a single window agency is created by the state government to enable the NHAI to get clearances from various stakeholders expeditiously. They also suo motu impleaded the chief secretary to government of Tamil Nadu as a party to the case.

Earlier, the NHAI authorities submitted that high mast lighting will be provided at toll plaza locations and at 17 major junctions along the Sriperumbudur-Walajahpet stretch.

Already, the assistant solicitor-general had informed the court that the six-laning of the 34km stretch between Sriperumbudur and Karaipettai section was to be completed by May 2019. However, the contractor has achieved a progress of 2.4 % against the target of 15.47 % as of January 31, 2020. It was further submitted that the appointed date for six laning of Karaipettai to Wallajapet section of NH4 was fixed as February 11last year and the contractor achieved a physical progress of 5.80% against the target of 31.95% as on January 31, 2020.

To a query by the bench as to why there is delayed by the contractors, the ASG submitted that NHAI has to approach several agencies in the state government to get clearances and sought a single window agency so that NHAI projects in the state could be completed on time.

NHAI may be held responsible for accidents due to bad roads and signage, the Madras high court has said

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