In an exemplary show of cooperation and amity, signaling the importance and precedence of infrastructure and development over faith and belief, locals from two communities agreed to relocate two temples, a mosque and three mazars (enshrined tomb) in Jalaun to pave way for the Lucknow-Jhansi national highway. The shrines had been impeding the work since last 14 years.
The structures were taken apart on Saturday amid heavy deployment of security forces without a single incident of protest.
The decision to relocate the shrines was taken after the district administration, led by Jalaun district magistrate Mannar Akhtar and SP Arvind Chaturvedi, held dialogue with the leaders and members of the two communities for over six months in what is being termed as ‘Operation Cooperation’.
Officials told TOI that there were two temples — one of Lord Shiva and one of Goddess Durga — three mazars and a mosque — all 50-100 years old structures — that came in the way of the highway. As a result, there was a daily traffic jam on the stretch to up to three hours.
The DM said the places for relocation of the six structures have already been identified and the National Highways Authority of India has taken the responsibility to rebuild them.
The relocation work started on Saturday simultaneously at all the places. BJP city head Amit Pandey said, “Almost 130 people died in accidents because of this traffic bottleneck. It is indeed a big step towards development.”