AHMEDABAD: Road widening controversy in Nikol area of Ahmedabad is lingering since 1998. The 1.3-km stretch had to be planned to make widen by AMC and properties of about 350 residents were to be demolished along such stretch. These residents are accusing the corporation officials and a local BJP MLA for `contradictory’ road-widening to favour politician and builders in the area.
As per the member of ‘Nikolgam Rozgar Bachao Samiti’, Jaisukh Sarvaiya, this disastrous tragedy would not have happened if Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) planned a demolition on both sides of the road.
The members produced documents to demonstrate that demolition was mostly on the left hand side of the Nikol road that had 350 shops and homes along the 900-metre stretch, while there was hardly any demolition on the other side. “The AMC avoided demolition for road widening towards Diamond mill compound and Sardar mall area that have ample open space,” says Sarvaiya.
Municipal commissioner D Thara announced Rs4 lakh compensation for the kin of each person who died on Tuesday. AMC officials refute the allegations and claim that the road widening activity was being carried out in accordance with the high court’s order in 1998.
There was an 11-ft road-widening demolition in the first 20 metre stretch of the road, and then 26-feet road widening was planned for another 10 metres. A new upcoming plaza , believed to be belonging to a group of builders had just three feet of widening while further ahead the road widening cut 43 feet into constructed shops.
A senior AMC official said that “The Thakkarbapa Bridge near India colony opened into a corporation plot on the side. All along the 900-metre stretch there was literally no road widening along Surdhara complex, Sardar Patel mall, Diamond mill compound, Sarita and Swastik societies were also spared on the other side,”
Suresh Patel, another member of ‘Nikolgam Rozgar Bachao Samiti’ member, alleges that local BJP MLA Vallabh Kakadiya was a trustee in the upcoming Kothiya hospital at the end of the road and the road widening was done to favour the hospital.
However, Kakadiya denied the allegations. “I will resign if these allegations are true. The demolitions are being carried out as per high court’s direction.” He said