High Court bans quarry works along NHs

A Division Bench of High Court of Manipur comprising Acting Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Kh Nobin Singh on Wednesday decreed for immediate stoppage of all quarrying activities at the foothills and along the flanks of national highways in Manipur sector.

The court issued the order in response to a petition filed by National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) general manager Sunil Kumar, stating that existence and activities of quarrying sites along the national highways had been causing disturbance in the execution of highway development works and other project components.

He also confiding to the court about the progress of highway development task entrusted to the corporation.

The general manager highlighted that continuous quarrying works on the hill sides that the national highways pass through are creating problems in the smooth implementation of drainage construction and maintenance work.

Sunil Kumar also informed that in-spite of satisfactory progress made, more unlined drainage works need to be done and that authority concerned has been intimated for sanctioning adequate funds to accelerate and complete the remaining tasks.

In consideration of the general manager’s complaints, the Division Bench, while observing that allowing quarrying sites and activities along the flanks of the national highways has the potential to damage the road, directed that there shall be immediate stoppage of all quarrying activities in areas specified in the petition.

It is also instructed that Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police of the districts concerned to ensure that there are no quarrying activities on the hill sides of the National Highways.

On the other hand, difficulties faced by NHIDCL in executing the assigned task were also highlighted in the affidavit.

It mentioned that work activities of the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR), which is executing rail-line construction works in different parts of Tamenglong district often cause damages to the roads and drains on account of using heavy vehicles and machinery.

The Division Bench stressed the need for the NFR authorities to cooperate with the NHIDCL so that no hindrances are created to the highway construction and maintenance work. Notice has also been issued to NFR authority Railways, as respondent No.31, and made it returnable by December 18.

In the meantime, complying with the directive of the Division, Bench representative of M/s HVS Material Private Limited, Vikramjit on Wednesday appeared before the court during the hearing of separate PILs filed in connection with the development works of National Highways.

Appearing before the Division Bench, Vikramjit conveyed about work progress entrusted to him, and also conceded that certain difficulties are being faced by the local contractors in executing project works. Based on his submission, the Division Bench directed Vikramjit to file necessary affidavit.

Further, the Division Bench directed M/S Bhartia Infra Project Limited through the State Government to submit more details of the work programme including the drainage component, for the next hearing.

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