Lucknow: The development going on the Jalaun district of Uttar Pradesh will surely prove that Indians set aside their communal barriers to make a constructive society. They have taken the crucial step of relocating religious structures to help the local administration to build a flyover which was stalled for last 14 years.
The steps include relocation of two temples, seven mazaars (tombs) and a mosque while a boundary wall of a dargah was dismantled to ease the process of construction of the flyover.
Superintendent of Police, Jalaun, Aravind Chaturvedi, spoke to a news agency in which he said, “On the Kanpur-Jhansi National Highway, the stretch between 242-km landmark and 244-km landmark is called Kalpi Khand. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had to construct a 1.5 km long flyover for smooth movement of traffic”.
“But the NHAI faced a grave problem when it had to lay a service road (almost 5.5 metres wide on either side of the flyover) before they commenced the main construction in Jalaun, 220 kms from the state capital Lucknow,” he said.
“It was on one of these stretches of service road (from Kanpur to Jalaun) that there were two temples, seven mazaars, and one mosque, leading to the problem which existed for almost 14 years,” the senior police officer said.
The steps were taken only after a series of meetings by the administration with the religious and area leaders belonging both to the Hindus and Muslims. “It was then agreed by all that for development, these religious structures have to be relocated. The task was undertaken on September 8,” he said.
“A Shiva temple has been relocated, while the sanctum sanctorum of a Durga temple will be shifted along with the idol as soon as the new temple is ready. The area where the new temple will come up has also been identified,” he said.
“Apart from this, seven mazaars have been relocated. One mosque was also relocated,” the police officer said while adding that the entire work taken up under “Operation Sahyog”.
Along with that, there was an agreement reached for a very old mazaar which falls outside the ambit of the service road, to keep it untouched.
The police officer said that as of now the NHAI is going on with some beautification work of the Durga temple and the centuries old mazaar.
In a query, District Magistrate of Jalaun, Mannan Akhtar, told a news agency, “The shifting of the religious structures located on the Kanpur-Jhansi National Highway was undertaken on September 8 and completed that day itself. There was cooperation by majority of the people.”
“Till now the Kanpur-Jhansi National highway was virtually single-lane for the past 14 years,” the district magistrate said.
As per the statement was given by Mr. Akhtar, the meetings process with all the related stakeholders took a time period of about 5-6 months along with back-channel talks to resolve the matter amicably.
“We made everyone agree on this,” he said.
According to the Superintendent of Police, more than 100 persons have lost their lives on this stretch of highway in the past 5-6 years of which victims were mostly school going children.