State claims no potholes left on Mumbai-Goa highway

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

A division bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil was hearing public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Owais Pechkar.

File picture of Mumbai-Goa highway during monsoon.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court asked the state government on Wednesday if it has filled all the potholes on the Mumbai-Goa highway. The court also referred to Tuesday’s incident wherein six people died in a vehicle mishap on the highway. The high court said, “We will appoint court officers to see whether work is properly done or not.”

A division bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil was hearing public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Owais Pechkar. Through his plea, Mr Pechkar informed the court that the stretch between Panvel and Goa on the National Highway 66 had been damaged due to heavy rains this year.

The stretch is riddled with potholes and poses a threat to the lives of countless commuters each day, the PIL said. Mr Pechkar said more people were likely to use the stretch in the coming months when they travel to their hometowns and villages in the Konkan region during the upcoming Ganpati festival.

On Wednesday, the court was informed that as per assurance given to the court by NHAI and state government, it has completed pothole-filling work before Ganesh festival. The court then rapped the authorities for increasing number of accidents in the stretch. State government then informed most highways fall under NHAI and very short distance is under state government. The court then said state can’t shirk its responsibility on the accidents even highway doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction. No one from NHAI was present in the hearing so court kept the hearing after two weeks. State assured the court that it will continue their work till the end of monsoon.

On the last hearing, court directed them to complete the work of pothole filling till September 5 and kept the hearing on September 12.

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