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Temples, shrine removed to clear land for Dwarka Expressway

GURUGRAM: Five temples and one mazār (mausoleum or shrine) that had been coming in the way of Dwarka Expressway were demolished on Wednesday in a joint drive carried out by Huda and MCG officials in the presence of a large contingent of forces deployed to prevent any kind of violent protests.

Officials said the temples and the mazār were among the last few hurdles standing in the way of the project, already delayed by over a decade, and that their ‘peaceful’ removal would help speed up the process to clear the land and hand it over to NHAI for starting construction work.

“The enforcement team of Huda and MCG carried out the drive. While two temples and one mazār were located at the intersection of the expressway and Pataudi road, the other three temples were standing in New Palam Vihar area, hindering the alignment of the ambitious expressway,” said an MCG spokesperson. These apart, one farmhouse in Chauma village was also demolished.

Around 200 policemen, led by ACP Sandeep Kumar and the SHO of Rajendra Park police station, accompanied the demolition team. “But, there was no untoward incident during the drive,” he added.

In the day, Huda administrator Chander Shekhar Khare held a meeting with GMDA and NHAI officials to sort out issues pertaining to Dwarka Expressway, Central Peripheral Road (CPR) and Southern Peripheral Road (SPR).

“There are around eight major obstacles (including residential and commercial establishments) coming in the way of Dwarka e-way, CPR and SPR. And this meeting was held to figure out how to remove them. We have decided to remove most of those structures by July 7. We are in touch with our head office in Panchkula to expedite the process to provide alternate plots to oustees,” said a senior Huda official. The remaining structures to be removed are located at Daultabad Chowk, New Palam Vihar, Sector 110, Palam Vihar colony.

GMDA has advised us to provide all necessary infrastructures, like water supply, sewage, road to those who will be relocated. “Once these structures are removed, we will hand over the land to GMDA,” the official added.

Meanwhile, residents living near the expressway are demanding the wall, built at Kherki Daula to block direct access to NH-8, be demolished. “A small patch of the road needs to be built, which will provide direct access to Kherki Daula. There is a temporary road but we are unable to access the highway because of the wall. We have asked Huda authorities to raze this wall,” said Abhishek Sharma, a Sector 81 resident.
Huda officials, however, said the NHAI was not ready to give direct access to the NH-8 as commuters might avoid paying toll at Kherki Daula toll plaza.
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