NPP holds protest, demands removal of all toll plazas

NPP activists carrying black flags during protest in Jammu on Wednesday.
NPP activists carrying black flags during protest in Jammu on Wednesday.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Nov 24: Agitated over the non- payment of compensation to the farmers of J&K for lands acquired from them for construction of PMGSY roads besides pathetic condition of roads and National Highways and multiple toll plazas installed in Jammu region, NPP activists led by party chairman Harsh Dev Singh held a protest demonstration at Jammu holding black flags on the arrival of the Union Road Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari.
The protestors alleging large scale work done liabilities in R&B, CRF and PMGSY sectors besides wrongful expropriation of land from farmers without adequately compensating them for their ancestral properties and proprietary holdings and structures raised slogans against the BJP Govt and state administration. They were restrained by the huge contingent of police amidst minor scuffles with the security personnel who raised barricades to prevent them from marching ahead.
Ridiculing the Govt for its haughty claims over connectivity in J&K, Harsh Dev called upon the Union Ministers to first ascertain the fate of R&B projects earlier announced by them years back for J&K. Not only was the rural road infrastructure in shambles but most of the R&B schemes announced in 2014 and thereafter had been either abandoned half way or suffering cost over runs with none to take cognizance. The National Highway Project from Udhampur to Chenani presented the most deplorable plight with the construction work on the 26 km stretch lingering there on for the last seven years at a snail’s pace.
He further reminded the Union Road Transport Minister of his commitment of time bound double laning of Udhampur-Barmeen-Ghordi-Ramnagar road made during 2014 election campaign at Ghordi and regretted that the said announcement too had proved to be a mere ‘Jumla’. And rather than constructing the double lane, even the existing single road had been badly damaged rendering it unfit for traffic. Likewise, the extremely bumpy, potholed and untraffic worthy Dudu- Basantgarh road failed to invite the attention of the helmsmen despite various central ministers having visited the area several times during recent DDC and other elections and having made countless promises with the people. Seeking declaration of National Highway from Ramnagar-Basantgarh-Latti-Chenani, Singh said that it could provide alternative route to the traffic plying to Srinagar and Doda.
Pointing towards the forcible expropriation of lands from farmers for PMGSY and other roads, Singh strongly condemned the selective payment of compensation to farmers.