Villagers remove road barrier in Sariska

By Sumana Narayanan
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

MP justifies act saying alternative route not provided

the Alwar-Jaipur state highway, closed to traffic since May 29, was reopened in the first week of September. People from two villages and Thana Gazi town near Sariska national park removed the road barricades placed by the forest department. The highway passes through the reserve; the barriers were installed following Supreme Court orders.

The apex court had ordered the closure of the road on the recommendation of the Central Empowered Committee (cec) that advises the court on forest related matters. The case was referred to the cec by the national wildlife board when the Rajasthan government sought permission to repair the road in 2005. The court said the road could be repaired for day-use by the communities living in the vicinity but that commercial traffic must be diverted.

The court did not give a deadline for the diversion but the forest department decided to close the road to trucks in May. People who found their access to Alwar blocked, decided to do away with the movable barriers.

Forest department officials said politicians incited villagers to break the barricade. "The MP from Dausa and the area's mla provoked the villagers. They are trying to gain popularity," said Sunil Sharma, the divisional forest officer of Sariska.

MP Kirorimal Meena refuted the allegation. "We protested because the barricading blocked our passage. In any case the court's interim order is to open an alternative route before closing this road," Meena said.

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