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Punjab

Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 2:03 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 2:03 AM (IST)TOLL PLAZA CHAOS

State’s last chance to seek orders from Chief Secy: HC

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted a last opportunity to Punjab for seeking instructions from the Chief Secretary before addressing the Bench on pandemonium at toll plazas and other related issues.

The direction by Justice Rajan Gupta came nearly a month after the High Court made clear its intent to examine whether a monitoring committee was required to be formed in every district for dealing with the chaos at toll plazas.

As the case came up for the resumed hearing, the state counsel prayed for additional time to seek instructions from the Chief Secretary in the light of directions issued by the bench last December. The case will now come up for hearing in the last week of February.

The development before Justice Gupta’s Bench took place on a petition filed by Parmod Chaudhary and another petitioner against the state and other respondents.

The petitioners had brought under judicial scanner the alleged charging of double the prescribed toll tax on the Ferozepur-Fazilka road. Challenging the action of charging double the amount, the petitioners had also sought directions to the concessionaire to abide by the agreement for the development and maintenance of Ferozepur-Fazilka Road on build, operate and transfer basis.

The counsel for the petitioners, CM Munjal, had claimed that the state, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board and another respondent entered into the Ferozepur-Fazilka road concession agreement in March 2006. Munjal said Rs 92 was being charged, instead of Rs 46 for the entire highway.

Munjal contended that there was congestion and mismanagement at the toll plazas, which required regulation of traffic by the authority concerned, which was a part of the law and order duty.

But the sovereign function was performed by some private individuals, who were not authorised to control traffic on a highway. He prayed that steps were required to be taken for ensuring the smooth flow of traffic.

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