Court finds allegations false, asks Kaithal villagers to plant trees on 4km of highway
The Punjab and Haryana high court after finding that allegations levelled in a petition were false has ordered Kaithal residents to plant trees on both sides of a highway on an area of 4km.
The HC bench of justice Ritu Bahri and justice Arun Monga were dealing with a plea from Kaithal residents who had claimed before the court that proposed construction of Trans Haryana North South Expressway from Gangheri to Narnaul, while passing through two villages – Kaul and Chandlana in Kaithal – would result in demolition of a Shiv Mandir and an ancient pond.
They had claimed that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) was ordered to increase the length of the bridge by 50m in the earlier round of litigation in 2019, instituted by manager of the temple, but has not been complied with.
Upon notice, NHAI appeared and had objected that every effort has been made to stall infrastructure projects like this by certain people, who have no interest in the property.
Such projects are of national importance and the grievance has already been addressed by the NHAI and has extended the length of the bridge by 50m by spending more than ₹5 crore.
It was further submitted that petitioners made false statement and incorrect map was shown to the court. Hence, heavy cost be imposed on them.
In the reply, the court found that the temple area in its entirety is being protected from any untoward damage by extending the length of flyover. The photographs too reflected that the flyover is not obstructing the location of the temple at all.
The court dismissed the plea filed in July this year and ordered that by way of imposition of costs, the petitioners would plant trees of deciduous and perennial nature, on both sides of the proposed expressway, at a running stretch of 1km each towards the right and 1km towards left side of the highway (a total of 4km), by taking temple as the central point.
Petitioners shall give a proof of the plantation along with a letter of proof issued by the area official of horticulture department, who shall supervise the plantation as per norms, the court said, adding that compliance be made within a period of three months.
High court registry has also been asked to follow up the compliance and report the same to the court.