The Madras High Court has warned the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that it would be held responsible for accidents caused due to bad roads or improper signage on the highway. The court also warned the NHAI that it would also be made to pay compensation for the victims involved in accidents as a result of poor road conditions.
According to reports, these remarks were made on Monday during a hearing on a PIL regarding bad roads between Maduravoyal and Walajahpet on National Highway 4 by Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha. The courtâ€™s observation came as a court-appointed advocate-commissioner had submitted his report on the progress made by the NHAI on the Maduravoyal-Walajahpet stretch of NH 4.
In his report, the commissioner had mentioned that the recent patch work conducted on the road as well as the poor lighting on the stretch were matters of grave concern. The report also mentioned that the stretch did not have proper traffic signals and restrooms.
Taking note of the report, the bench ordered that part of the highway must be relaid, according to the norms prescribed by the Indian Road Standard Congress. The NHAI had earlier responded to the court, stating that high mast lighting had been installed at toll plazas and at 17 major junctions on the Sriperumbudur - Walajahpet stretch of the highway.
Earlier, the Additional Solicitor-General had also told the court that there were delays in finishing the construction work on the six-laning project. He also had pointed out the difficulty in getting clearances from various government agencies to complete the work. Noting this, the judges impleaded the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu to the case suo motu, suggesting that a single window clearance system should be instituted so that clearances can be procured swiftly.