Hosting state Republic Day function, Dangs buys peace

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Residents of over a dozen villages around Ahwa, the headquarters of the tribal-dominated Dangs district, have withdrawn their planned protest against Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the Republic Day following acceptance of their demands. The state government is holding the state-level Republic Day function this year at Ahwa.

The villagers led by tribal activist Shivram Gangude had threatened to show black flags to Modi in protest against the lack of amenities, particularly "pucca" road connecting their villages, thus making it inconvenient for them to travel to Ahwa and other places.

Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, Gangude said, "We have now withdrawn the protest as the district administration had conceded to our demands and began constructing four-kilometre-long pucca road between Dhulchond and Amsarvanan villages two days ago. Amsarvanan is 18 km from Ahwa."

Gangude said most of the Dangs was hilly and lack of proper roads in interior areas created problems for movement of the people. "We had taken up the matter several times with the officials but nothing had happened. So, we decided to show black flags to CM," he said.

District Collector P K Solanki, when contacted, said, "Everything is okay now. There is no problem with the villagers. We have begun construction of the road and it would be completed soon."

Meanwhile, the CM arrived at Ahwa on Friday and held meetings with district officials regarding the development works in this hilly district. Solanki said the CM on Friday inaugurated projects worth Rs 72 crore that had been completed. It includes Ahwa General Hospital building built at a cost of Rs 24 crore, Rs 11-crore underground drainage network for Ahwa, Rs 13-crore drinking water supply scheme and newly built building of Ahwa Government School with 2,400 students enrolled in it. A college building was inaugurated by Modi last year.

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