The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday asked the panel set up to look into the progress in construction work on the Theog-Hatkoti road to file a fortnightly status report.
The court also directed it to achieve the first milestone within the fixed timeframe and cautioned that any dereliction made by any official or the project contractor, including breach of contract, would amount to contempt of court.
A division bench comprising chief justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed the order following a public interest litigation filed on the delay in construction of the road and posted the matter for the next hearing to April 27.
The court had earlier constituted a committee comprising the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Public Works) and the Engineer-in-Chief of the public works department to monitor the progress of work. The government prayed for four weeks' time to show the results pleading that the work was hampered due to the inclement weather in recent days.
The amicus curiae, Jyotsna Rewal Dua, submitted the milestones fixed by the committee had not been achieved but rather had been changed due to bad weather.
Countering the government's affidavit, an advocate submitted the total length of the project was 80.60 km, which had been divided into two sections - one up to 48 km and the other from 48 to 80.60 km, which had been further divided into three milestones.
The first milestone of up to 20 km of first part of the project and second up to 58 km of the second part of the project are to be completed till June 2015, the advocate said, adding only 10 km of the area comprising the first milestone was snowbound.
The court took on record the statement of the advocate general that the first milestone would be achieved within the stipulated timeframe.