Kerala HC raps government again for shoddy condition of roads

Representational Image. Photo: Manorama
Representational Image. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday rapped the government for the shoddy condition of roads in the state. Most are ridden with potholes and there had been several incidents of people losing their lives on account of it, the court observed.

These are man-made disasters, the court pointed out and asked why people must pay a toll when roads are in such a state of disrepair.

The court also made it clear that District Collectors, as heads of the respective Disaster Management Management Authority, also have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the roads. It has asked for a report from them.

Earlier this month, the court had directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to complete the maintenance works on all roads managed by it in the state within a week.

The court had also instructed the district collectors to take appropriate action against engineers and contractors responsible for potholes on the roads.

The NHAI is an autonomous body of the central government. It is responsible for the management of a network of over 50,000 km of National Highways.

It is a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Though a perennial topic of concern, potholes became a heated matter again after 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 victim's relatives and local residents had besieged the Paliyakkara toll plaza at Thrissur protesting the authorities' negligence in carrying out timely repair works, which they alleged led to Hashim's death.

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