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Govt to HC, bridge is ready

The state government on Thursday informed Jharkhand High Court that construction of the long-pending Namkum railway overbridge had been “completed”. However, verification needed to be done before filing an affidavit on the matter at the court, the government counsel added.

A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice P.P. Bhatt, which was hearing a public interest litigation, asked the government to inform by what time the bridge would be made operational for public. The court, which was critical in its observation, further said merely completing the bridge was not enough and that it ought to be opened for public use. It directed government counsel R.R. Mishra to verify construction of the bridge and file a report before the bench.

The PIL was filed in 2005 by one Dhananjay Prasad Dubey, who sought speedy construction of the railway overbridge that had become a necessity in view of the heavy traffic flow at the railway crossing. The high court has been monitoring the case since the PIL was filed and even set a deadline of March 31, 2011. As the project could not be completed, the deadline was extended for another year.

However, the government again sought an extension and continued construction.