SG highway expansion project takes off, hits a roadblock

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The widening work on an important stretch of the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway (NH 8-C), which connects the western part of Ahmedabad to the state capital, has finally taken off after a delay of over six months.

The Rs 55-crore project has, however, hit a roadblock with the compound wall and sacred Nishan Sahib of Gobind Dham Gurudwara coming in the way of the expansion plan of the state Roads and Buildings Department.

The project, which will see six lanes being created on either side over a stretch of 2.2 kilometres from New York towers till Pakwan restaurant, includes construction of two underpasses — at Gobind Dham Gurudwara and Thaltej intersections — at a distance of 400 metres.

As per the demarcation done by the Ahmedabad division of the Roads and Buildings Department, the gurudwara compound wall and Nishan Sahib are required to be shifted back, as much as 3-4 metres. The authorities have marked the areas required to be removed along the compound wall in red and served a notice to the gurudwara last Thursday.

"The authorities have requested the gurudwara trust to retreat the U-shaped compound wall running along the highway and the Nishan Sahib. They have agreed to shift the compound wall. However, for Nishan Sahib, it was communicated that it would take some time as they need to seek permission from Amritsar," said a senior department official.

On the other hand, gurudwara authorities say that they do not want to create any controversy by shifting Nishan Sahib from its original place. "We are willing to cooperate with the state authorities... but we will not touch our sacred Nishan Sahib and remove it from its existing place. This is a sensitive issue and we do not want to create any controversy. We have no issues with other changes," said Jasbir Singh Makhija, president of Sri Guru Gobindsinghji Charitable Trust that manages the gurudwara.

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