The Highway Protection Act, enacted for the protection and development of highways, often fails to serve its purpose of preventing the ribbon development along the highways.
Almost 12 years after the implementation of the Act, the Highway Authority faces stiff opposition in demarcating control line, building line etc for the prevention of ribbon development.
In order to ensure the standard width of the highways, it is crucial to prevent ribbon development, which is the growth of buildings, industrial and commercial establishments linearly along a highway with direct access to the highway.
Works of a number of stretches of state highways remain stuck on the issue of encroachment.
Though the Highway Protection Act demands demarcation of building line (distance between road limit and building on roadside) and control line (distance r e q u i r e d f o r r o a d development) and publication of the same in gazette, the officials are yet to complete the process owing to opposition from various quarters.
‘’The officials are facing stiff opposition from various quarters, including top politicians. This will prevent the development of state highways,’’ said a PWD official.
The Highway Protection Act permits the officials to displace temporary sheds, booths, hoardings etc without giving prior notice. The Highway Authority can collect the amount required for the removal from the erring roadside vendors.
Encroachments can be removed with prior notice. The Authority can seek police protection, if needed. However, all this provisions remain on paper.