A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was informed that farmers and local villagers have forcibly prevented construction work in the stretch from December 25 last year.
The Supreme Court has asked the DGP of Uttar Pradesh to look into the issue of providing security for the construction of Eastern Peripheral Expressway as the work in the 41-km patch in Gautam Budh Nagar district has been forcibly stopped by farmers. A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was informed that farmers and local villagers have forcibly prevented construction work in the stretch from December 25 last year and no steps were taken by the police despite the request to provide protection at the site.
“As far as construction of Eastern Peripheral Expressway in the state of UP is concerned, it appears that farmers/local villagers have forcibly prevented the construction work in the entire 41 km patch in district Gautam Budh Nagar from the evening of December 25, 2016,” the court noted in its order. “We request the director general of police, UP to look into the matter, particularly in terms of the order dated March 31, 2016….,” it said and posted the matter for hearing to April 25. The 135-km long expressway envisages providing signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also told the bench that possession of entire land for the project, except two kilometres in Sonipat district, has been handed over by the Haryana government. “We expect the Government of Haryana to render all assistance so that the possession of this stretch of land is handed over to the NHAI,” the bench said.
Regarding the 135-km long Western Peripheral Expressway, which connects Kundli to Palwal via Manesar in Haryana, the court was told that the stretch from Palwal to Manesar is ready while the portion from Manesar to Kundli is still under construction. The court was also informed that so far as the construction is concerned, it is the responsibility of concessionaire.
The judges noted that though there was no financial liability on any of the state governments or the Government of Delhi, “there is some liability with regard to cost of land acquisition”. “The total amount has not been specifically mentioned in the status report on behalf of the monitoring committee. For clarity, we would like to have the exact amount due from each of the governments of Haryana, Delhi and UP. The amount be indicated by way of an affidavit,” they said.
The court, which has been hearing a 1985 PIL filed by environmentalist M C Mehta on issues including vehicular pollution, had asked the Centre in 2005 to build a peripheral expressway around Delhi by July 2016 to decongest and de-pollute the national capital. The two expressways — each around 135-km long — were planned in 2006 following the Supreme Court order to form a ring road outside Delhi for channeling non-Delhi bound traffic bypassing the national capital.