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Pulls up state over repair of national highway in Jalpaiguri.
Roads in Bihar and Himachal Pradesh are better than those in West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court observed today.
Hearing a public interest litigation on NH 31C in Jalpaiguri district, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Arun Mishra said that the road condition in those area was "horrible".
It was revealed during the hearing that the chief justice recently visited some areas in north Bengal and adjoining areas of Bihar. It was then that the difference between the conditions of the roads in Bihar and north Bengal struck him.
Today he wanted to know from the state about the timeframe for repairing NH31C. A counsel of the state replied that work would be finished before monsoon. Following this, the chief justice asked why it would take such a long time to repair the national highway .
A counsel of National Highways Authority of India said that work for widening NH31C was stalled for non-availability of land in Jalpaiguri district. The division bench asked the state's counsel to file a report giving the details of NH31C within two weeks.
In July 2012, former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court J N Patel had issued a suo motu public interest litigation after visiting NH31C between Madarihat and Hashimara in Jalpaiguri. The district magistrate of Jalpaiguri had filed a report stating that the road would become unmotorable after the monsoon. On the directives of Justice Patel, NHAI took the initiative to repair NH31C between Madarihat and Hasimara immediately. However, today it was revealed that no work was done in the last seven months.
Also from high court
Hearing a public interest litigation on newspapers for government-run libraries, a division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Jaymalya Bagchi questioned how the court could pass an order on the issue. The bench said a detailed hearing was required and the case will be heard on January 24. In March 2012, the state government issued a notification which stated that only a few particular newspapers would be kept in the government-run libraries. This was challenged in the high court by the three petitioners.