Kerala HC urges state to develop roads keeping future needs in mind

The High Court observed that if the Kerala government can acquire land for the SilverLine project, surely it can do so for widening existing roads

Bihar, IAS, officer, BJP
Previously, the High Court had pointed out that when a road is constructed, the competent authorities must keep an eye on the future by taking into account the rapid increase in traffic and also the constraints of increasing population density. | Representational image

The Kerala High Court told the state government on Monday to develop roads by “keeping in view the future,” when the government is talking about the future with regard to the K-Rail project SilverLine.

“When you are talking about the K-Rail project, you talk about the future. I am happy that someone is taking account of the future. Let’s talk about the future in roads also,” Justice Devan Ramachandran said.

The court further said that if the state can acquire land for the SilverLine project, surely it can do so for developing wider roads.

Also read: Kerala’s SilverLine project has faults, Centre won’t approve: Sreedharan

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The observations by the court came during the hearing of a plea in which it was claimed that a 14 km stretch of a road development project from Tirurangadi to Parappanagadi was being undertaken with a reduced width, citing financial constraints.

The petition has sought that the road width, as initially proposed, should be maintained for the entire project.

During the hearing, the state government told the court that a proposal for further land acquisition will be submitted by the Public Works Department by January 31.

The court, thereafter, directed that “development of roads be done by keeping in mind the future and not the present requirements”.

The HC said that the present width of 8 metres was “woefully insufficient”, keeping in view future increase in vehicular traffic.

The court sought a report from the state government before the next date of hearing, with regard to the status of the new proposal for further land acquisition. It also said that while the road work may go on, the state will not be absolved from its responsibility to widen the road.

The court had previously asked the state government that if it was going ahead with major projects, which cost hundreds and thousands of crores of rupees, then how can it claim lack of funds for widening a 14km stretch of road.

The query had come after the state government cited financial constraints as the reason for reducing the width of the road.

The state government had said that an additional ₹150 crore would be required to construct the road in question, from Nadukani to Parappanangadi, with a width of 12-15 metres, as was initially proposed by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

Also read: Won’t abandon development projects, says Kerala CM on SilverLine

Previously, the court had also said that when a road is constructed, the competent authorities must keep an eye on the future by taking into account the rapid increase in traffic and also the constraints of increasing population density. The court had also said that the roads cannot be left as “relics of the past.”

(With inputs from Agencies)

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