Shimla: Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday asked Commissioner of Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) to file an affidavit on the delay in making functional Auckland tunnel, built with JNNURM funds, in the city.
The court also issued direction to HIMUDA and SMC to file affidavit about the progress with regard to housing projects Ashiana-1 and Ashina-II by October 9 under the central scheme. The orders were passed by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Dharam Chand Chowdhary on a petition file by an advocate alleging lack of proper utilisation of the funds provided under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)
The mega project under JNNURM was launched in December 2005 to improve the quality of life and infrastructure in urban areas and the focus of the mission was on water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, road in work, urban transportation and re-development of old cities areas.
Shimla was selected as one of the cities under the said mission and a sum of Rs 3, 900 crore was approved by the Centre for implementation of development plan. The petitioner had alleged that except holding meeting, HIMUDA, the nodal agency of the JNNURM had over past five years virtually taken no steps for implementing the DPRs (Detailed Project Reports) prepared by the various agencies including the Municipal Corporation of Shimla, thereby depriving the entire public of Shimla Town of all-round development which could have been carried out under the JNNURM.
The petitioner made special reference of the slow work being carried out in construction of the Auckland tunnel in his petition. The two-lane traffic tunnel will reduce the distance between Victory Tunnel and Sanjauli and also reduces traffic congestion on Cart Road.
In compliance to the previous order of the HC, the Additional Superintendent of Police (Traffic) filed an affidavit stating that effective steps are being taken to regularise and for earmarking the parking lots so that there is no traffic congestion on account idle parking. The court fixed the matter for October 10, 2012 for further hearing.