Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed two district collectors to conduct an urgent inspection of the maintenance works being done on a national highway stretch passing through the regions under their jurisdiction.
Collectors of Thrissur and Ernakulam districts were instructed to ensure that the potholes on the Mannuthy-Angamaly stretch of the national highway are fixed in a proper manner.
Justice Devan Ramachandran issued the directive after an amicus curiae brought to his notice the media reports about lapses in the road repairing works.
The court issued the directive through the amicus curiae as it was a holiday on Tuesday.
On Monday, the high court had directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to complete the repair works of the roads in the state under it within one week.
Justice Devan Ramachandran, who was hearing a case taken up by the court on its own over the potholes on national highways, directed the district collectors to act proactively in the matters of poor roads in their districts.
The high court took up the case on its own after a recent incident in which a man riding a scooter lost his life when his bike fell into a pothole at Nedumbassery near here.
"We cannot let people die like this. What are the district collectors doing? They cannot be mere spectators. They should be more proactive and look into the issue of roads, be it under the NHAI, the state government or even the local roads," the court said.
The court said the district collectors, as the heads of the respective as the head of the District Disaster Management Authority, have a responsibility under the Disaster Management Act.
Meanwhile, the NHAI told the court that it was initiating steps to repair the roads on a war- footing. The court observed that one could imagine what would happen if there are potholes on a four-lane road where the speed limit is 90 kmph. The court directed the NHAI to complete the repair works within one week.
The state government in the meanwhile, informed the court that a case has been registered against the contractor in the incident in which Hashim (52), the Paravoor native, lost his life.
(With inputs from PTI)