High Court directs PWD, NHAI to fill potholes on Mumbai-Goa highway
The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra Public Works Department (PWD) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to fill potholes and carry out repair work on the Mumbai-Goa National Highway.
A Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by one Owais Pechkar, a regular commuter on the highway. The plea highlighted the increase in the number of potholes and sought a direction from the court to the State and the Centre to repair them.
He had filed a similar PIL in 2018 but the authorities concerned had done little since. Hence, he filed this petition last week.
The PIL said although the highway was being widened, the work had been delayed for years, inconveniencing citizens and causing regular traffic congestion.
The plea also sought a direction from 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 said, “The situation on the highway is not good. We want the State PWD and NHAI to look into the immediate issues, including potholes. Since the monsoon is on, accidents might happen, and safety measures need to be taken to avoid loss of lives.”
The court also said, “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 HC asked the Maharashtra PWD and the NHAI to look into immediate repair issues, including potholes and sought a progress report on the highway widening work from the authorities.