The Fact of the case
In the Instant Matter at hand A.H. Hazarika v. State of Meghalaya a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Petition by Advocate A.H. Hazarika against the Agia-Medhipara-Phulbari-Tura Road’s postponed construction and repairs. The petitioner claimed that the AMPT Road, a vital route linking the state’s western regions to the rest of the nation, had long been neglected. The 133 km long, eight-section road is maintained by the State Public Works Department. In order to ensure that potholes do not impede traffic flow, the court-mandated continuous oversight of patch repair work for the 9 km section between 33 km and 41 km. The stretch’s quick rebuilding was also ordered by the court. However, since the prior order, nothing significant has been done, and potholes have grown, impeding traffic flow. The black coating of the road has degraded due to extensive flooding throughout extended areas, making it unsafe for trucks and other smaller vehicles to travel.
Observation of the Court
The AMPT route is an arterial route of significance, according to the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W. Diengdoh of the Meghalaya High Court, and as such, the road should be in excellent shape without justifications like rain to explain away its pitiful condition.
The crossing over the Brahmaputra River from Dhubri to Phulbari is expected to be finished in three to four years, and the Court emphasised the importance of the AMPT Road as an essential road. As Phulbari develops into a significant trading centre, traffic on the routes leading there and back will rise. Without justifications like rain, the road has to be in excellent shape. In order to relieve the additional strain on the Dhubri to Phulbari route over the Brahmaputra, the Court ordered the State Public Works Department to completely reconstruct the route, maybe in collaboration with the National Highways Authority of India. As part of the extension of the Dhubri to Phulbari flyover, the State PWD ought to consult with NHAI, and perhaps submit a financing request to the North-Eastern Council for the bolstering, expanding, and year-round upkeep of the AMPT Road.
The Court also ruled that the immediate patchwork needed should not be disregarded. The Court also expressed its concern that even though Meghalaya is one of the most humid regions on earth, the State or other authorities continued to use the excuse of rain to cover up the poor state of so even. Still, numerous other roads in the State can withstand the monsoon and stay unaffected by the heavy rains. The State was required by the Court to provide a report detailing the actions performed, as well as recommendations concerning how the road would appear in the next four to five years.
CASE NAME – A.H. Hazarika v. State of Meghalaya, Public Interest Litigation No. 15 of 2018.