Donkey fair over, Vautha waits for its bridge – The Times of India
Till last year, people had made a makeshift bridge of iron plates supported by wooden sticks to cross the river. Every one, be it locals or poor workers, had to pay Rs5 to Rs10 to cross the makeshift bridge that was dismantled recently.
The government had initially tried to construct a bridge connecting Vautha in Dholka, Ahmedabad and Palla village in Matar, Kheda as early as 1997, looking at the high number of deaths from drowning. The bridge could not see the light of the day because of the budget constraints. After a long wait, the foundation for the bridge was laid in 2012 and a budget of Rs37 crore was sanctioned.
Kheda MP Devusinh Chauhan said, “The bridge project is nearing completion, but the last leg of construction has got stuck in a dispute over land compensation. As the issue has been resolved, it would be completed very soon”.
According to Saurabh Parghi, prant officer of Dholka, improper mapping of land led to the problem. “Land maps of two farmers got interchanged. One got more money while another received less. This created the confusion. We have now started the procedure to recover the money from the farmer, after which the last leg of work will be completed,” he said.
Vautha and Palla are villages, the locals claim, with mythological importance. According to them, the Pandavas had lived incognito on the banks of the river during their ‘guptvas’. A mela is organized here on the first full moon day of the Hindu calendar. It is famous as Asia’s biggest mela for sale and exchange of donkeys.