In a move that may delay the work on the Delhi - Amritsar - Katra Expressway, farmers led by Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) and Sadak Sangrash Committee halted the land acquisition work and staged a protest by blocking the road with tractors in Ludhiana, Punjab.
Activists of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) who protested on Sunday (20 November) said they would organise a regular protest if adequate compensation is not paid for land acquisition.
“We will not allow any government or non-government agency to snatch even an inch of land belonging to farmers of the region until the owners are given adequate compensation,” an activist told The Tribune.
As farmers continued their protest in Chhapar and Dhulkot villages by blocking the roads, officials led by Ludhiana (West) SDM Swati Tiwana halted the land acquisition process.
Rs 40,000 Crore Ambitious Project
The 669 km long Delhi - Amritsar - Katra Expressway will be developed at a total cost of about Rs 39,500 crore.
The expressway being developed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will bring down the travel time from Delhi to Amritsar to barely four-and-a-half hours and the journey time between the national capital and Katra will reduce to only six-and-a-half hours.
Currently, the fastest train, Vande Bharat Express, takes eight hours to reach Katra from New Delhi station. Officials said once the project is fully operational, people can reach Srinagar in ten-and-a-half hours.
According to NHAI, once the four-laning of Jammu Srinagar highway and all tunnels are complete, one can board a luxury bus at night from Delhi and can reach Srinagar in the morning.
The Greenfield Expressway will connect key Sikh religious sites at Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Tarn Taran and the holy Hindu shrine of Vaishno Devi in Katra.
The expressway will also connect key economic centres like Ambala Chandigarh, Mohali, Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Kathua and Samba in the three states/UTs of Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
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