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Dawn-to-dusk hartal total in Varapuzha

The dawn-to-dusk hartal observed by  the National Highway Samara Samithi and associated organisation was total in Varapuzha on Monday.

Published: 29th October 2013 12:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2013 12:37 PM   |  A+A-

The dawn-to-dusk hartal observed by  the National Highway Samara Samithi and associated organisation was total in Varapuzha on Monday.

The hartal was observed as part of the protest against the government decision to widen National Highways in the state with 45-meter width and also hike the toll rate at Varapuzha brige at National Highway 17. It was a peaceful hartal and no violence was reported. Schools and educational institutions remained closed. Both private and KSRTC buses kept off the roads as protestors had requested them not to ply in the Varapuzha route. Private vehicles were not seen on the roads after protestors had asked all motorists to take diversion through Edappally. Shops in the area were also shut down.

According to protestors, though several people had surrendered their land for 30-meter wide National Highway decades ago, the land still remains unused.

“In most areas of the National Highway 17 in Paravoor, Varapuzha and Vadakekkara, 30 meters of land has been taken from the residents. Some of the people have started encroaching the land taken for the widening project and the government has not taken action,” a Samara Samiti member said.

After the National Highway took over the NH-17, the toll of the Varapuzha bridge has increased five-fold. The rate for cars for a one-way trip through the bridge increased from `5 to `25. For a two-way trip, car drivers would have to pay `40 compared to the earlier rate of `7.50. The rate for buses and heavy vehicles have been hiked from `15 to `75.



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