Oscar Fernandes keen to appear in court to push stalled highway

November 15, 2013

Dipak Kumar Dash, TNN |


NEW DELHI: Highway minister Oscar Fernandes wants to implead himself in the case on the Panipat-Jalandhar highway widening case which the Supreme Court is hearing.An official note was moved in the NHAI saying the minister “desired to appear before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for early decision in the matter so that construction of the highway can start at the earliest”. The proposal was moved before the last hearing on Monday. The note said work on six-laning of Panipat-Jalandhar highway was stopped by the concessionaire Soma-Isolux more than one-and-a-half years ago.”The concessionaire is not even carrying out the minimum required maintenance of the highway to keep it traffic worthy. The condition of the highway is very poor and at a number of locations, it is unsafe for traffic movement,” the note said.

However, the plan was dropped by the ministry at the last minute. Sources said Fernandes was keen to appear before the court since poor progress on this stretch was raised by several MPs from Haryana and Punjab.

The concessionaire has been fighting to shift toll plazas to plug revenue leak, which NHAI has claimed would maximize toll collection by the company. NHAI has been opposing the relocation of toll plazas citing public interest.

On Monday, the arguments got almost completed. Now both the developer and NHAI have been allowed to file their written submissions before November 29 when the court will take up the case again.

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