The Delhi High Court has issued notice to Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar on a petition seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against him for failing to comply with its direction to appoint a committee for review of the Katra-Banihal section of railway line to Kashmir.

The contempt petition was moved by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which alleged that the railway was ignoring the serious concern raised by experts over the 125-km-long section, which had a flawed alignment making it “unsafe and unstable”.
The petition said the railway had not set up the committee within the stipulated period of four weeks given by the Court in May this year. CPIL counsel Prashant Bhushan said the inaction of the Railway Board Chairman in the matter amounted to a serious violation of the Court’s order.
Justice V. K. Shali of the High Court issued the show-cause notice on Wednesday asking why the Railway Board chairman had not complied with its earlier orders.
The Court had directed the Railway Board to look into the relative technical merits and demerits of the existing and the proposed alternative alignment by appointing an expert committee.
The petition said only a small portion of the Qazigund-Katra leg of the Udhampur-Srinagar- Baramulla rail link had been completed so far, while the target for opening it was set for 2007.
The costs had increased six-fold and the project’s completion was still uncertain, it said.