HC unhappy with Highways despite heavy tolls
Court seeks status report from NHAI on issue by November 25. The collection of heavy toll amounts for years together by concessionaires of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The Madras High Court on Friday expressed its displeasure over several national highways passing through the State not being maintained well, despite the collection of heavy toll amounts for years together by concessionaires of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee broached the subject during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition filed by Tiruchi-based advocate A. Joseph Sagayaraj to prevent collection of toll at Paranur and Athur plazas, from vehicles plying between Tambaram and Tindivanam.
The petitioner claimed that an NHAI concessionaire had laid the highway between the destination, at a cost of ₹564 crore, and had started collecting toll for a period of 15 years, since April 2005.
Claiming that the concessionaire had so far collected ₹1,114.64 crore, the petitioner wanted an embargo on further collection.
After hearing the petitioner’s arguments, the judges directed Assistant Solicitor General G. Karthikeyan to ensure that a status report was filed by NHAI by November 25 on the issue raised in the PIL petition. They also took the opportunity to point out how many national highways were in poor condition.
They said the Maduravoyal to Wallajabad section was in very bad state. The ASG concurred with the judges and said NHAI officials had taken steps to repair the highway after reading a news report in one of the dailies.
He agreed to file a status report with regard to that stretch as well within three weeks. They also said the Tiruttani to Tirupati Highway was not being maintained properly.