Bharuch: Surat-based diamond merchant Savji Dholakia, known for gifting cars to his employees, has said he will remove a ‘kutcha’ road built by him across the dry Narmada river to reach his farmhouse situated on an island.
Government officials Monday visited the spot, which is near Zadeshwar village in Bharuch district, after learning about the illegal structure on the riverbed. The flow of the Narmada has created a large island near Zadeshwar, just before the river reaches Bharuch town.
“This kutcha road across the river was built on the dry riverbed by Savjibhai, who owns a farmhouse on the island. This road is 3 meter wide and around 3 to 4 feet high. We have been given assurance (by Dholakia) that it will be removed,” said PD Patel, mamlatdar (revenue officer) of Bharuch.
District Collector Ravi Kumar Arora said the structure across the dry river has not altered the flow of water. “I am told the structure was meant to enable people to reach the island. If there was water in the river, they may have used boats. Since there is no water, this temporary structure was created using sand bags. We have received an assurance that it will be removed,” said Arora.
In his defence, Dholakia said his only intention was to enable people to reach the island as there is no water in the Narmada at that spot and mud prevents people from walking on the riverbed.
“Like me, many people own farm land on that island. We built that structure so as to reach on that island. I also run a ‘gaushala’ (cow shed) there. If there was water, we may have used boats. But the river is dry now. We built the structure so that people can go to the other side without getting stuck in the mud. I will now remove that structure,” said Dholakia.