HC quashes plea against highway work, orders petitioners to plant trees along 4-km stretch of road

The bench after perusing the revised site plan held that it shows that the temple area in its entirety is being protected from any untoward damage by extending the length of flyover. In fact, part of the flyover has been relocated to save the entire property in question.

Dismissing a petition against the NHAI over claiming that the construction of Trans Haryana North South Expressway from Gangheri to Narnaul would result in demolition of a temple and ancient pond, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the petitioners to plant trees of deciduous and perennial nature on both sides of the proposed expressway.

The order has been passed by the division bench of Justices Ritu Bahri and Arun Monga. The court said, “By way of imposition of costs, the petitioners are directed to plant trees of deciduous and perennial nature, on both sides of the proposed expressway, at a running stretch of one km each towards right and one kilometer towards left side of the highway (a total of 4 km), by taking the property in question (temple) as the central point/mid-point.”

The bench further held that the petitioners shall give a proof of the plantation along with a letter of proof issued by the area official of Horticulture Department, who will supervise the plantation as per norms of inter se distance to be kept between two consecutive trees. The bench also ordered that compliance of order be made within a period of three months.

The petition had been filed by Pawan Kumar and others seeking to quash land acquisition notification dated 27.07.2008 issued under Section 3-A of the National Highway Act, 1956. The petitioners, being residents in or around the vicinity where proposed highway is to come up, contended that the intended construction of Trans Haryana North South Expressway from Gangheri to Narnaul, while passing through two villages — Kaul and Chandlana in district Kaithal — would result in demolition/destruction of a Shiv Mandir and ancient pond along with Smadh of Sidhpursh falling in the area of aforesaid villages. The petitioners also appended a site map which, per their assertion, depicted that the proposed highway would still pass through the pond.

In course of arguments before HC, the allegations of any damage to the property in question were strenuously opposed by counsel for the state, as well as by counsel appearing for NHAI, Senior Advocate Chetan Mittal assisted by RS Madaan and Additional Advocate General of Haryana, Ankur Mittal.

Meanwhile, KM Sharma, Project Director, NHAI, Project Implementation Unit, Bhiwani, also pleaded that petitioners have deliberately misled this court by concealing the revised site plan or filed the petition without proper verification of the purported site plan.

The bench after perusing the revised site plan held that it shows that the temple area in its entirety is being protected from any untoward damage by extending the length of flyover. In fact, part of the flyover has been relocated to save the entire property in question.

The petition was thus dismissed with a cost of planting trees on the expressway.

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