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HC road rap for Centre

Ranchi, Jan. 17: Jharkhand High Court today directed the central government to dispose of the state governmentís applications, seeking technical and financial aids for strengthening and widening NH-23 between Gumla and Biramitrapur in neighbouring Odisha.

A division bench of Chief Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh was hearing a PIL on construction and expansion of the 170-km stretch that connects the two states.

In his plea to the court, petitioner Manoj Kumar Agarwal said the national highway had disintegrated completely and motoring on the road had become difficult. Frequent incidents of breakdown of vehicles on the stretch caused further chaos, Agarwalís counsel J.J. Sanga said.

Agarwal, in his petition, further stated that a tender for construction of the road was issued in 2007, but there had been no progress in the project so far.

Defending the state government, its counsel A. Allam said the government had written several letters to the Union government, seeking funds and technical clearance for using explosives to blast rocks on the stretch that would be used for construction of the road.

The NH-23 segment was dotted with huge rocks, posing a hurdle for construction work, Allam said.