Mumbai, Sept 26: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday admitted a public interest litigation seeking interim ban on toll collection at the pothole-ridden Sion-Panvel highway. The petitioner, Navi Mumbai-based activist Deepak Singh, said the authorities have failed to maintain safety on the road despite collecting massive amount of taxes in form of toll.
The petition also seeks a judicial inquiry into the deaths of over 150 people at the Sion-Panvel highway in the last 30 months, due to the potholes. The inquiry team should also probe the death of 341 people due to the alleged bad road conditions in Panvel since January 2016, the PIL further demands. BMC to Start Reconstruction Work on 1343 Roads Across the City From October.
"I have requested judiciary to stop the Toll collection as interim relief and set one team for judicial inquiry of death of people happen on road and concerned authorities must be held responsible for this. Good road is our fundamental right and we are paying so many taxes including toll tax for this," said Singh, who sought support for his petition through change.org.
The bench led by Justice Ranjit More has asked the state government, Public Welfare Department (PWD) and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to file a reply within two weeks.
The Bombay HC, while hearing a petition last month filed by a Chiplun-based resident on the deteriorated condition of the National Highway-66, said the "least" which a government can do for the people is to ensure pothole-free roads.