HC dismisses review petition on 50% toll on NH-48 stretch

Poor upkeep: Judges said the Maduravoyal-Ranipet stretch of the National Highway had not been re-laid in several years.   | Photo Credit: GANESAN V

The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a review petition filed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) against an interim order passed by the court in December directing it to collect only 50% toll at two plazas situated between the Maduravoyal-Ranipet stretch of National Highway-48 due to very poor maintenance of the stretch.

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and A.A. Nakkiran refused to entertain the review despite the NHAI claiming that it was losing over ₹16 lakh a day due to the reduced toll price.

The judges said the lives of motorists was much more precious than revenue collection. They observed that the highway was in a pitiable condition and not as per the standards of the Indian Road Congress.

It was on a suo motu public interest litigation petition that the court directed the NHAI to collect only 50% toll till March 11. Then, the court had noted with anguish that it had been several years since the highway was re-laid.

Earlier, the road was riddled with potholes and craters and motorists were put to hardship, despite paying toll for using it. It was only after the court’s intervention that the NHAI filled the potholes and laid patches on the highway. Even those were not laid properly, leading to a bumpy ride.

Further, the highway lacked other facilities such as proper lighting and signage, making it very difficult for motorists to drive safely on the stretch, the court had said.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:02:39 AM |

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