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Villagers oppose expressway project Thursday, December 6, 2001
SOURCE - TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Residents of Wanch and Damatwar villages, falling under the Daskroi assembly constituency, launched an agitation against National Highway Authority of India's (NHAI) expressway project linking Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
Nearly 500 villagers disrupted the ongoing work of the six-lane expressway project on Monday by squatting at the construction site, threatening to continue with the stir indefinitely in case of inaction by the authorities. They complained that the Centre's mega project blocked the age-old link road connecting Wanch with Danatwar and 14 other villages.
According to the villagers, the existing route was blocked due to the project and the authorities refused to provide a proper alternate route. They said the underbridge which was provided is located about one km away from the existing route.
Sources in NHAI said the villagers are demanding either an overbridge or an underbridge at the existing location. "While an underbridge is not technically feasible at the existing point, constructing an overbridge would cost about Rs 2.5 crore, which is economically unviable," said an official supervising the project.
Although the sources said that the villagers, in the presence of local leaders had accepted the present proposal, but due to some 'instigation' they were disrupting the ongoing project. The villagers, however, alleged that the authorities had promised a proper metalled road. "But though an underbridge has been provided there is no metalled road passing through it which connecting the two villages," they say. Further, without providing an adequate alternative, the authorities have closed down the existing road.
While the villagers threatened to demonstrate indefinitely, NHAI sources said, "We are trying to get things in order, but if they continue to agitate, the law will take its own course."
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]