NHAI affidavit on steps taken to remove encroachments along highways, 12/11/2020
Additional affidavit on behalf of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in the matter of Society for Protection of Culture (Chetna) Vs National Highway Authority of India & Others dated 12/11/2020.
The NGT in its order June 18, 2020 directed the NHAI to file compliance affidavit to provide information for the last one year on the extent of encroachments and encroachments removed within India. The affidavit should include information regarding provision and maintenance of green belt on either side of highways and survival percentage of trees/saplings planted.
The report stated that as per the provisions and applicable policies of the NHAI, the contractual agreements entered into between the NHAI and its concessionaire, casts special duty on the concessionaire to protect the project highway from encroachment through a special provision.
One such provision is the protection of sites from encroachments. This provision says that during the concession period the concessionaire shall protect the site from any occupations, encroachments. The contractual agreements between the applicant and its concessionaire also provide special provisions of landscaping, plantation and its maintenance along carriageway and median.
The NHAI said that it is the primary responsibility of the concessionaire to protect the site from any encroachments, removal of all illegal access and plantation of trees along carriageways and median as well as maintenance there to. That the various Project Implementation Units (PIUs) of the NHAI while performing its statutory obligations has been directing its concessionaires and contractors to remove the encroachments on the highways as found during the patrolling. Facing agitation from the encroachers, the PIUs of the NHAI, from time to time had sought assistance of the district authorities, but it has not served any purpose.