In the case of Fourlane Visthapit and Prabhavit Samiti v. State of H.P., a lawsuit was brought against the National Highways Authority of India’s contractors for improperly disposing of waste in a forest region. The NHAI contractors hired to build the fourth lane of the Kiratpur Nerchowk National Highway were accused of illegally dumping muck in the forest region, according to the petitioner.
Analysis of Court Verdict
Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel of the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s division bench have cited the Union of India as respondents and requested a response outlining what it intends to do to ensure that NHAI officials do not permit muck dumping in either the State’s forests or water bodies, as well as to remove the muck that has already been dumped by their contractors.
The Court noted that although NHAI claimed in its response that Rs. 8,45,700 had been given to the State’s concessioner as compensation for the illegal muck dumping in the forest, it did not specify what efforts it had taken to remove the muck. The Court commented that the payment of the aforementioned sum of money would not instantly melt the illegally deposited muck and cause it to vanish into thin air. The Court also expressed concern about the NHAI officials’ careless actions in allowing their contractors to dump waste in forest regions, stressing the numerous complaints that have been made against the contractors.
The Union of India has been included in the writ petition by the Court on its initiative through the Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests. The Court has also asked the Union of India for a statement on what it plans to do to stop the NHAI authorities from allowing muck dumping in the State’s forests or close to water sources. Additionally, it stated that the NHAI authorities in this respect must be held to some kind of accountability. The subject will be discussed again on July 20, 2023.
CASE NAME – Fourlane Visthapit and Prabhavit Samiti v. State of H.P, CWP NO. 5243/ 22