Protest against new highway continues,106 farmers detained

Farmers of Junagadh continued to protest against acquisition of their land for a bypass road project near the city for the second day on Wednesday

Written by Gopal Kateshiya | Shapur | Published: June 27, 2013 3:54 am

Farmers of Junagadh continued to protest against acquisition of their land for a bypass road project near the city for the second day on Wednesday,even as 106 of them were detained.

Hundreds of farmers gathered to protest against the work resumed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and District Inspector of Land Records (DILR),Junagadh from the southern end of the Junagadh bypass road near Shapur,a village 10 km west of the city.

Police detained 106 farmers,taking them to Manavadar police station,as they tried to prevent the survey teams from carrying out the Joint Measurement Survey (JMS).

“We have detained 106 farmers. Of them 40 are women while 66 are men. They shall be released at an appropriate time,” said Zahir Saiyad,Deputy Superintendent of Police,Keshod.

The protests started Tuesday near Vadal village,the northern end of the 20-km long bypass road when NHAI and DILR began to ascertain the amount of land to be acquired and the number of affected farmers.

On the first day of protests,146 farmers,66 of them women,were detained by police but released later.

However,farmers whose land is set to be acquired insist that instead of constructing a new bypass,the existing bypass should be widened.

But,NHAI has opted for the new bypass that is likely to cost Rs 100 crore apart from the price of land to be acquired for it.

“The alignment from Vadal to Shapur is the most feasible. The existing bypass was built 15 years ago and 50 per cent of it crosses the area under Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC). A lot of development has taken place on both sides of the road making it difficult to widen it,” said RS Jhanwar,project director at NHAI’s Project Implementation Unit (PIU) in Rajkot.

The latest exercise is likely to end in two days after which the government would issue notifications with details of whose land is to be acquired. This will be followed by awarding of compensation and taking possession of land.

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