Friday, July 21, 2006

Court extends tenure of panel on state of Bangalore roads

Court extends tenure of panel on state of Bangalore roads

The Hindu

The High Court set up the committee

# The committee's term ended on July 15
# The BMP opposed extension of the tenure of the committee
# It said it had spent Rs. 1 crore on the panel
# The court has extended the tenure to August 31

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday extended the tenure of the Captain Raja Rao Committee which it had set up to monitor the construction and repair of roads in Bangalore.

It asked the Government and the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) to file affidavits explaining why the committee's recommendations should not be accepted by the court, and why it should not direct them to implement the recommendations.

The court directed the Principal Secretary of the Department of Urban Development and the Chief Engineer of BMP to be present for the next hearing.

Although the BMP opposed any extension of the tenure of the committee as it had incurred an expenditure of Rs. 1 crore on arrangements, the court extended the term to August 31. It said although the term expired on July 15, the committee members were required to assist the court when its recommendations and suggestions were being considered.

When the hearing began, the BMP counsel opposed extension of time for the three-member committee.

The committee was constituted by the High Court on September 12, 2005 after the filing of a public interest litigation (PIL) petition on the poor condition of roads in Bangalore.

The committee submitted four reports and sought time to prepare a final report. In all the reports, the committee pointed out the loopholes in the tender system of the BMP and suggested changes. It made several other recommendations.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice D.V. Shylendra Kumar, directed the Government and BMP to file, within two months, affidavits on the recommendations made by the committee in its four reports, and why they should not be implemented.

The Bench gave the BMP two weeks to file its objections against the extension of time to the committee. It adjourned further hearing of the case.

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