Rail overbridge on ‘wrong track’: Lalbaug shopkeepers protest upcoming project

Shopkeepers and some local residents created a ruckus at the Lalbaug railway crossing during the peak hours on Wednesday to register their protest against the upcoming Rail Over Bridge (ROB).

Written by Express News Service | Vadodara | Published: March 26, 2009 12:40 am

Shopkeepers and some local residents created a ruckus at the Lalbaug railway crossing during the peak hours on Wednesday to register their protest against the upcoming Rail Over Bridge (ROB).

The locals accused the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) authorities of not taking them into confidence and ignoring their problems,which may crop up after the construction of the bridge.

“There are other ways to ease the traffic in this area instead of developing the bridge. They could have broadened the existing road instead of spending Rs 80 crore on the ROB. Once the bridge is developed,it would directly affect our business adversely,” said Jayesh Shah,one of the shopkeepers.

Shah added: “The shops would lose its business,as they would be under the bridge. A large number of shopkeepers would lose out on business,but the VMC simply wants to show development.”

Another shopkeeper Akshay Brahmbhatt said: “None of the officials from the VMC came to take our consent after the project was passed by the government. When

such big projects are carried out,generally,opposition and problems from the affected people are invited and decision is taken accordingly. But here,no such formality has taken place.”

VMC officials,however,considered the protest baseless. “The ROB will come up for the betterment of the people. Earlier,we were blamed for not bringing solution to the traffic chaos at the Lalbag crossing where traffic used to be affected for hours for a train having a few passengers. Now,when we worked hard on the project and got it sanctioned,a handful of shopkeepers are trying to blame us unnecessarily,” said an official attached to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission projects.

Interestingly,when this ruckus was going on and a large number of commuters was literally forced to stop,no police officials turned up at the spot to bring the situation under control. The traffic jam and chaos was managed by two traffic jawans and three home guard jawans,who had to leave their respective points to manage the situation.

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