HC asks Maha PWD, NHAI to repair potholes on Mumbai-Goa Highway to prevent loss of lives

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Mumbai, Jul 2 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra Public Works Department (PWD) and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), to carry out necessary repair work and fill potholes on the Mumbai-Goa National Highway.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni also directed the authorities to ensure proper barricading of portions, where a road-widening work was underway along the highway, to prevent 'loss of lives'.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Owais Pechkar, a regular commuter on the Mumbai-Goa Highway, who sought directions from the court to the state and central authorities to repair potholes along the road, which he said, was prone to accidents.

Pechkar had earlier filed a PIL in 2018 seeking similar directions, and at the time, another bench of the High Court had stated that ensuring pothole-free roads was the minimum a government could do for its citizens.

The petitioner filed the present plea earlier this week, after realising that the authorities had done little since 2018 to repair the highway.

The PIL stated that although the highway was being widened, the work had been delayed for years, inconveniencing citizens and causing regular traffic congestion, the plea said.

The court then asked the Maharashtra PWD and the NHAI to look into immediate repair issues, including potholes.

'The situation on the highway is not good. We want the state PWD and NHAI to look into the immediate issues, including potholes,' the bench said, adding that since monsoon is on, accidents might happen and safety measures need to be taken to avoid loss of lives.

The High Court also sought a progress report of the highway widening work from the authorities.

'At some places, there are no guards on the road cautioning motorists that they will have to take precaution ahead due to potholes or ongoing widening work. You (PWD and NHAI) will be required to address it. Some barricading will have to be done,' the bench said.

The High Court will continue hearing the PIL next week. PTI AYA ARU ARU

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