Imphal, August 17 2017: A Division Bench of the, High Court of Manipur consisting of Acting Chief Justice N Kotiswar and Justice Kh Nobin, passed an order regarding the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) case filed by RK Joysana, stating that the condition of Imphal-Jiribam road, in its present state, cannot be considered a proper National Highway owing to the potholes, landslides, lack of proper drainage etc at various points .
During the hearing of the PIL case, the Division Bench heard the submission of Senior Counsels L Lalitkumar, M Hemchandra and A Romenkumar who represented the petitioner .
The Bench also heard Senior Government Advocate, RS Reisang, ASG, S Rupachandra, CGC, S Suresh and Counsel, Ayangleima who represented the respondents .
The order mentioned that the Judges constituting the Division Bench, Acting Chief Justice N Kotiswar and Justice Kh Nobin along with a team consisting of the Advocate General, Senior Advocates and Advocates of High Court of Manipur as well as officials concerned, visited and inspected the condition of Imphal-Jiribam road on August 12.The team could only go up to Makru bridge and could not proceed further as some repair works were going on in one of the bridges.
The order mentioned that the condition of the road, in its present state, cannot be considered a proper National Highway due to the potholes, landslide, lack of proper drainage systems etc at various points along the road.
With regard to the remaining portion of the road from Makru bridge, it directed JMIC Jiribam to inspect the road condition and submit a report within two weeks so as to reach the Court on or before September 4.
The Court also directed Additional Deputy Magistrate to accompany the JMIC and to render all necessary assistance.
S Suresh, CGC for National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) submitted that NHIDCL was entrusted with the development and maintenance of the 217 Kilometres long section of the Imphal-Jiribam road by a notification issued by the Government of India on December 23, last year.
NHIDCL, then, took up the task of short-term improvement and routine maintenance of the road.
He also submitted that the aforementioned tasks have now been assigned to three contractors/firms, one of whom has been already impleaded as respondent number 11 of the PIL case.
The two other contractors/firms being M/S HVS Construction Material Private Limited and M/S Bharatia Infra Project Private Limited on three segments of the National Highway.
He also submitted that the highway development work will be completed in due course without further delay .
In this regard, Senior Counsel A Romenkumar submitted that irrespective of whether the work has been properly executed or not, it may be necessary to know the original work estimate prepared by the NHIDCL and submitted before the Central Government and the scope of the project which was approved by the Central Government.
He further submitted that NHIDCL, before undertaking the short-term improvement and routine works and construction of two lanes for Imphal-Jiribam National Highway, must have submitted a detailed report to the Central Government which also must have been approved before the NHIDCL could proceed with the execution of the works.
He submitted that it would be necessary to know the aforementioned original project report or DPR submitted by the NHIDCL before the Central Government, which was approved, not only in respect of the short term improvement and maintenance but also in respect of expansion of the highway to the status of two lanes so that the same work can be monitored effectively .
The Division Bench generally agreed with the suggestion of Senior Advocate N Romenkumar and accordingly directed NHIDCL to submit details of the original work estimates submitted to the Central Government.
It also directed NHIDCL to produce the points of agreement made between NHIDCL and the three contractors for the execution of the works which are said to be in progress.
With regard to the two-laning work of the National Highway, CGC, S Suresh submitted that tender bids were invited and tender was scheduled to be held on August 1.
He said that necessary information will be submitted before the Court.
Accordingly, the Division Bench also directed NHIDCL to submit the details of the tender after completion of the tender process in connection with the two-laning work of the National Highway .
The Division Bench accepted the prayer submitted by S Suresh for granting two weeks time to file the reports and documents by way of affidavit .
With regard to the National Highway number 2, Imphal-Dimapur sector, the Court acknowledged the submission that routine maintenance work has been going on.
RS Reisang, Senior Government Advocate, submitted that M/S Bhartia Infra Project Limited was awarded the contract work of improving the road stretch from Senapati to Koubru Leikha and from Mao to Senapati on June 30 and July 27 respectively.
The contractor and the State authorities are scheduled to make joint site inspection on August 21 before executing the work.
In this regard, the Bench directed the State Government to submit details of the original work estimate prepared by PWD and submitted to the Government, and also the agreement entered between the Government and M/S Bhartia Infra Project Limited.
RS Reisang prayed that all the details demanded by the Court would be submitted within two weeks and the Court accepted the prayer.
Source: The Sangai Express