Saturday, October 10, 2009

Girnar ropeway: Sadhus to take to streets over delay in project

Girnar ropeway: Sadhus to take to streets over delay in project
Express India By Sibte Husain Bukhari

Junagadh-based All India Sadhu Samaj has decided to take to the streets over the delay in the implementation of the aerial ropeway project at Mount Girnar. Some 45 renowned sadhus, mahants and temple heads of the region will lead the 'Rasta-Roko' (road block) agitation at Vanthali Gate area of the city on Friday.

Political parties, including BJP, Congress, CPM and BSP, various youth organisations and NGOs will also take part in the protest to register their support.

All India Sadhu Samaj (Gujarat Chapter) president Mahant Gopalanand said: "Despite being cleared at various stages, the ropeway project is being delayed for some reason or the other. Moreover, no political leader is coming forward to take up the issue. So, we have decided to raise the issue with the support of all sections of the society."

He added: "After the agitation, office bearers of our New Delhi head office will take up the issue with the concerned minister and department."

While supporting the move of the All India Sadhu Samaj, Satish Captain, Mayor, Junagadh Municipal Corporation, said: "We have already taken up the issue with the concerned authorities. We have written letters asking them to speed up the project."

City BJP president, Karsan Dhadook, said: "The BJP is supporting the agitation. We will give them full support as joint efforts are needed for the realisation of this project."

Dhadook, however, accused the Congress of politicising the issue. "The ball is now in the Centre's court. If Congressmen put pressure on the party, there is a chance of the project being implemented soon," he said. A meeting, presided over by the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, will be held in New Delhi on September 10 to discuss the pros and cons of the project.

"If we fail to submit our case, the ropeway project will never see light of the day," Dhadook said, adding that the BJP is planning to start a signature movement in support of the project.

Meanwhile, leaflets bearing the names of the mahants, organisations and individuals participating in the agitation were distributed in Junagadh on Wednesday, asking the general public to support Friday's agitation.

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