A day after the new district of Chhota Udepur came into existence,residents of the newly formed taluka of Bodeli as well as the existing talukas of Naswadi and Sankheda on Friday called a bandh in protest against the state governments decision to name Chhota Udepur as the district headquarters instead of Bodeli.
The bandh was called by people who felt that the new district headquarters will now be further away from Vadodara,doing little to ease the difficulties in travelling to the district headquarters.
The bandh went off peacefully,with shops keeping their shutters down for the entire day. Citizen groups marched to the offices of the mamlatdar office of the respective talukas to submit their memorandum against the decision.
All the three tribal-dominated talukas Bodeli,Naswadi and Sankheda which were part of the Vadodara district have now been included in the newly formed district. Kwant and Pavi Jetpur talukas have also been added to the list. Bodei has been made a taluka in the new arrangement .
The residents had demanded that Bodeli be made the districts headquarters. The main problem is the distance between villages in these talukas and Chhota Udepur. Ironically,the new district was formed to bring the administration closer to the people,but the distance from Sankheda to Chhota Udepur is more than that to Vadodara, a resident of Sankheda said. The distance between Sankheda and Chhota Udepur is 70 km,while that of Sankheda and Vadodara is 50 km,he said. Similarly,the distance between Naswadi and Chhota Udepur is around 80 km,while that of villages on border of MP and Maharashtra is even farther away.
People in Sankheda are closely connected with those living in Vadodara for their social,economic,educational and health needs That has now been broken. But the new arrangement should have made sense had they made Bodeli our new headquarters, another resident maintained.
The new district includes Chhota Udepur,Pavi Jetpur,Kawant,Naswadi,Sankheda and Bodeli talukas,created by merging 67 villages of Sankheda and 71 of Pavi Jetpur. Vadodara comprises Vadodara city,Vadodara rural,Dabhoi,Shinor,Waghodia,Karjan,Savli and Padra.