‘Why not single window nod for NHAI projects?’, Madras HC asks State govt.

The Madras High Court on Monday embarked on an exercise to ascertain the possibility of the State government establishing a single window system for National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to obtain clearances from multiple departments such as the Public Works, the State Highways and the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments either while laying new highways or when widening the existing highways.

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and R. Hemalatha included the Chief Secretary as one of the respondents to a suo motu public interest litigation petition taken up by the court regarding poor maintenance of the national highway between Maduravoyal and Wallajahpet. It sought to know his response by March 8. The judges also directed the NHAI to ensure that the highway in question was maintained well with sufficient lights.

In case of road accidents either due to poor condition of the highway or bad lighting, the court would consider making the NHAI also liable to compensate the victims, the judges warned.

Earlier, Assistant Solicitor General G. Karthikeyan submitted a report stating that the NHAI had carried out pothole and patch repair work on the entire stretch in order to maintain the national highway in a motorable condition.

On a court-appointed Advocate Commissioner having found that there was no adequate lighting on the highway, the report, filed by Project Director P.T. Mohan, stated that high-mast lighting would be provided at toll plaza locations and major junctions during the six-laning of Sriperumbudur to Karaipettai (17 junctions) and Karaipettai to Wallajahpet (34 junctions). Street lights would be provided in built-up areas, flyovers and underpasses, it added.

The report said that a proposal for ₹ 14.09 crore had been submitted for providing lighting facilities between Maduravoyal and Sriperumbudur.

The Hindu
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