With this, 19 out of 22 writ petitions have been disposed of by the court

The Karnataka High Court has dismissed/disposed of three more writ petitions which had challenged acquiring land for widening the National Highway 66 (formerly NH 17) to 60 metres (right of way) in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts by the government.

The writ petitions No. 31318-31325/2011 filed by Manohar Shetty and others and No. 33635-33640/2011 Savithri S Palan and others were dismissed on March 21, sources in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) told The Hindu.

The writ petition No. 8264-8265/2011 M. K. Makarandaji and others was disposed of on April 2, they said.

With this, of the 22 writ petitions regarding land acquisition filed before the court 19 have been dismissed / disposed of. Now three more writ petitions were pending before the court, they said.

A writ appeal was pending before the court.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had taken up the widening of the highway stretch between Kundapur and Surathkal, and Nanthoor Junction and Talapady under phase III of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) under build, operate, and transfer (BOT) basis.

Brief of the two petitions, dismissed last month, were that the Government four decades ago had acquired land for widening the highway to 45 metres width. While that had not been used, the Government had issued a notification for acquiring land for widening the highway to 60 metres width.

The petitioners had argued that that was arbitrary and against the norms of the Indian Road Congress.

On October 17, 2011, while dismissing the writ petition nos. 27610-27627/2010 and 28088-28097/2010 which had challenged the land acquisition for the same project the court had observed that the manual prepared by the Indian Road Congress contained only the guidelines or norms.

“It can always be modified to suit the requirements of a given situation…” the court said.

In the same order the court observed: “…Further the court takes the judicial notice of the rolling out of lakhs of new vehicles on the roads everyday in the country. If the future requirements are anticipated by the decision-maker, he cannot be blamed for the same. Any road widening project has to be in the perspective of the long term requirement…”

Referring to the project the sources said that nine major bridges were being built under the project.

They were at Mabukala, Bhadragiri, Kalyanpur, Udyavar, Pangala, Mulky, Pavanje, Jeppinamogaru (Netravathi) and Talapady.

Except a pile for a bridge across the Netravathi, piles for all other bridges had been completed.

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