MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Friday took note of the "poor condition" of the Mumbai-Goa Highway and accordingly ordered the state Public Works Department (PWD) and also the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to immediately look into the issues pertaining to the entire stretch of road. The bench further ordered the authorities to put up barricades on the segment of the highway where a road-widening work is underway.
The bench was dealing with a PIL filed by Owais Pechkar, highlighting the pothole menace on the highway. The PIL even pointed out the ongoing road-widening work along side the highway. It contended that since there are no barricades there are higher chances of accidents of motorists.
Pechkar has sought directives to the state and the NHAI to repair the potholed road and even to take proper precautions to avoid any kind of accidents.
On an earlier hearing held in April this year, the bench was informed about the status of the work going on and the work yet to be completed.
On Friday morning, when the matter was called out for hearing, at the outset, the bench said the road was in a bad condition. "Condition of the highway is actually bad due to the number of potholes. We don't want any accidents on it", the bench remarked.
"We want the PWD and other authorities to look into this matter. There are too many potholes on the road thus if timely action is taken, we can avert accidents and save the lives of citizens", the judges added.
During the hearing, chief justice Datta noted that there are no barricades near the ongoing road widening work. "Ensure that there are some barricades put up there at least this would help motorists to be cautious about the condition of the road. This will indicate that accident might take place thus motorists need to be cautious", CJ Datta observed.
"Even monsoon has arrived thus we cannot delay this issue anymore. The authorities have to fill up the potholes and carry out the requisite repairs in time," the chief justice ordered while adjourning the hearing till Monday.
Notably, Pechkar had first filed a PIL on the present issue in 2018 and another bench of the HC while hearing the matter had said that 'ensuring a pothole-free road is the least a government can do for it's citizens.'