Residents of 14 residential societies and over 100 shop owners have launched a protest against the road widening project in Ahmedabad’s Naranpura area.
Banners opposing the ruling BJP government were seen in Naranpura on Monday.
Protesters claim that widening the existing 80-foot road to 100 feet from Naranpuragam to the Naranpura crossroad will not only reduce the residential and commercial area on either side of the road by 10 feet but will also result in the removal of hundreds of trees.
“From Naranpura crossing to Ashram road, the connecting road is 50 feet wide. “We don’t understand the logic of widening this road without also widening the connecting road, which narrows ahead,” said Rakesh Patel, chairman of the Lokhandwala society.
Residents have also written to the office of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who represented this Assembly Constituency in 2012 and is one of the seven assembly constituencies that comprise his Gandhinagar Lok Sabha Constituency.
Residents had also protested when the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation announced the road widening project in March of last year (AMC). They had made several representations to the Chief Minister and AMC officials.
However, following the protests and fearing a backlash and election boycott, the government announced the project would be halted, according to residents.
“The houses have a 15 feet margin but with the road widening taking away 10 feet on both sides, these houses will be literally on the road. Residents would be unable to live here if there was no place to park their vehicles and increased noise pollution,” Patel added.
Residents claimed that the decision to widen the road was not made “in the public interest” and was “political,” and that they obtained a traffic survey from an agency that stated that there is no need for road widening.