The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has taken a serious view of the slow pace of road development work in Naxalite-hit districts of the region and has directed the state to fast-track the construction work.
The court took suo motu interest in the issue on the basis of recent newspaper reports that criticised the state for its lack of coordination with the agencies concerned, due to which the Border Road Organisation (BRO) was unable to complete road work on time.
The road link is vital for transport and communication in the remote, Naxalite-affected border areas.
The court also took notice of the fact that the construction is being delayed due to lack of sufficient police protection for the construction workers, who were often targeted by the extremists.
A division bench of Justice Dilip Sinha and Justice Ashok Bhangale told the state to hold a joint meeting with BRO officers and engineers concerned and decide upon a time-bound programme for the completion of the roadwork.
The road works in Naxalite-affected areas were entrusted to the BRO as contractors were not willing to take up the job. The BRO has started work in Gadchiroli and Gondia in Maharashtra.
However, several employees of the BRO, including engineers have been targets of the extremists.
The court told the chief secretary to hold a meeting to review the progress of the work and report to the court within six weeks.