The Madras High Court has said that work on relaying damaged roads under the “Special Roads Programme (SRP) -2010-2011” can be executed in the Mayiladuthurai Municipality, except two roads.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S.Sivagnanam, passed the interim order on a public interest litigation petition. The matter has been posted for further hearing after two weeks.

In the petition, K. Rajendran, advocate and president of Social Action Team, Mayiladuthurai, said in order to repair damaged roads in 1113 wards in 149 municipalities and town panchayats, the government had allocated Rs.1000 crore under the SRP.

In the programme, there was a specific condition that if a road had been laid five years ago it could be considered for relaying provided those roads were in important places. If roads had been damaged in natural calamities, they could be re-laid even if the last relaying was within the five year period. Photographs showing the existing poor condition of each of the roads should be taken and enclosed with the proposal. The photographs should be taken for every 200 metres stretch of the road.

Mr. Rajendran submitted that Park Avenue Road in ward number 27 and Pattamangalam Street in ward number 8 were in perfect condition now without any potholes. They were repaired and relaid in 2007 and again on October 9 this year during the visit of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister who had to go to Pattamangalam Street to unveil the portrait of his brother-in-law's wife and hoist a DMK flag there. Buses to Tranquebar, Karaikal and Nagapattinam were run via this street. There was no complaint from the public about the road. The petitioner said he did not understand how the officers concerned included the two streets in the programme. The inclusion was for the benefit of vested interests.

For relaying the two roads, Rs.75 lakh would have to be spent. If the work was allowed to be done, it would be a waste of public money, Mr. Rajendran said.

He sought to stay all further proceedings pursuant to a tender notification of the Mayiladuthurai Municipality dated October 14, 2010, so far as it concerned the two roads.

When the matter came up, the Bench said the Government Pleader should file the counter. In the meantime, work can be executed except on the two roads.

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