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Agitating villagers continue roadblock against sand miners

The residents of Jabugam village in Pavi Jetpur taluka on Wednesday wrote to the mamlatdar of the taluka threatening to intensify their road-blocking agitation if a written order prohibiting the movement of trucks loaded with sand in the village was not passed.

Written by Express News Service | Vadodara | Published: June 14, 2012 5:35:00 am

The residents of Jabugam village in Pavi Jetpur taluka on Wednesday wrote to the mamlatdar of the taluka threatening to intensify their road-blocking agitation if a written order prohibiting the movement of trucks loaded with sand in the village was not passed. The villagers have blocked a road used by sand miners that connects them to the Bodeli-Chhota Udepur highway since May 30.

“You passed an oral order prohibiting movement of trucks on the Vanta-Jabugam road on May 30. We demanded that a written order be issued to this effect. Till date,your office has not taken any action on our demand. You will therefore be responsible for the intensification of our agitation,” the villagers said in an application to mamlatdar Jaydip Asari. A copy of the application has also been marked to the Vadodara district Collector. The villagers alleged that Asari was not taking any action under pressure from those who hold leases to mine sand and gravel from the Orsang river.

“If he has written submissions from lease holders declaring their trucks would not ply on the road,what stops him from issuing the written order?” said Hakim Kureshi,a leader of the agitating villagers. Kureshi said they would have no option but to block more roads if the written order was not issued soon.

However,the mamlatdar said he would be able to take a call on the villagers’ demand only after he gets a response from the office of Mines and Minerals in Vadodara.

On the other hand,district geologist Vipul Bhavsar said,“I have forwarded the mamlatdar’s report to the district collector and I shall be able to take action only after his response. However,it is for the mamlatdar to decide what routes the trucks should take. We grant leases on the basis of opinion of the mamlatdar.”

Jabugam is on the Bodeli-Chhota Udepur state highway,about 70 km from Vadodara. A 1.5-km-long approach road connects Jabugam toVanta village on the bank of river Orsang. Trucks loaded with sand use the road to reach the highway. The villagers allege that the continuous movement of trucks throws out dust which is seriously affecting their health.

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