Kerala HC orders highway authority to fill potholes in state within one weektext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala High Court on Monday directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to take immediate steps to rectify every road under their control in the state within one week.
Observing that the court could not let the roads in the State be "killing fields", Justice Devan Ramachandran directed all the District Collectors in their capacity as head of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to issue orders with respect to any road on which potholes are found and take necessary action against the jurisdictional engineer or contractors or any other persons responsible for its poor maintenance.
The court mentioned the potholes on the roads in Chalakudy, Orumanayoor, and Kodungalloor bypass in the state.
The high court's observation comes close on the heels of the police registering a case against the NHAI and a contractor for causing the death of Hashim, a Manjali native, who fell into a pothole while riding his two-wheeler at Nedumbassery on the Edapally-Mannuthi (NH 544) stretch.
The court observed that the District Collectors could not be mere spectators and act only when an accident took place.
While ruling, the Court observed that, "the gravity of the situation in Kerala is now for all to see. We do not react until we are the victim or someone we know faces such a situation. It is always as if accidents only happen to others and not to ourselves. But this is a myth, as anybody with reasonable sense would reckon."
"We can neither wait for another victim; nor can we let the roads of Kerala to be killing fields - whether it be under the NHAI, PWD or the Local Self Government Institutions," it noted.