Staff Reporter

This stretch of National Highway 48 is in a bad shape

CBI told to seek help of CVC and experts from IISc.

Petitions had been filed seeking repairs to the road

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the irregularities in the repair of the Shiradi Ghat section (between Sakleshpur and Uppinangadi) of the National Highway 48, connecting Bangalore with Mangalore.

The CBI was asked to probe the irregularities taking the assistance of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and technical experts from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bangalore.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran, and Justice V.G. Sabhahit passed the order on petitions by B. Krishna Bhat and others seeking a direction to the Union and State governments and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to take up road repairs.

Allowing the petitions, the Bench directed the CBI to complete the inquiry within three months from the receipt of the order. Thereafter, the Union and State governments were to initiate action to give contracts for repairing the Shiradi Ghat section within three months, keeping in view the required standards for movement of heavy traffic vehicles.

The CBI was directed to submit the report to the CVC which in turn was asked to initiate action against those officers who when in service illegally approved and sanctioned the release of funds to the contractors in violation of guidelines.

The petitioners contended that the condition of the road had worsened and that it would be fully damaged during monsoon. The Government said it approved works to improve the road and that repairs of different sections had been entrusted to different contactors.