As many as 35 people, including 26 women, were detained in Navsari on Thursday during a protest against the upcoming Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway project. Over 22 villages in the district are likely to be affected by the project.
The protest began after officials of the National Highways Authority of India reached Kebada village for measurement activities. Residents of Kebada village called in people from nearby villages and began their agitation despite heavy police presence. There were also reports of stone-pelting.
To disperse the protesters, police resorted to light lathicharge, said Deputy Superintendent of Police V J Jadeja, adding that 35 people were detained. The measurement work, however, continued despite protests.
Sources in the Mamlatdar office of Navsari said over 44 houses in Kebada village would be affected and land of many villagers would be acquired.
“We are trying our best to convince the villagers. The government will give land against land and house against house to the affected families,” said Navsari Mamlatdar K P Pandvala.
Advocate and social activist Virendra Desai said, “There are 250 houses in the village and the villagers will lose their livelihood after their agricultural land is been acquired. Till now, the government officials have not shown us where they will give land and houses.”
Officials of the highway authority refused to comment.
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