Shrine falls on road project alignment

Villagers of Nayakangudem in Kusumanchi mandal are seeking the intervention of the district authorities to ensure that a temple over 300 years old, dedicated to Bhaktanjaneya Swamy, be spared from the proposed Khammam-Suryapet road widening project.

Sources said the shrine surrounded by a 100-year-old tree fell in the proposed alignment of the highway expansion project. The project envisages the expansion of the 60 km Khammam-Suryapet highway into a four-lane facility at an estimated cost of Rs. 1000 crore.

The revenue officials faced stiff resistance from the villagers in Jellacheruvu and a few other villages in the early phase of the survey of the expansion project. While a section of the villagers insisted on adequate compensation for the loss of their lands, others wanted suitable modifications to the alignment to avoid loss of their lands and other properties.

In an effort to retain the shrine along with the fully grown tree in Nayakangudem, a group of villagers led by the temple priest Sridhar Bhattar submitted a memorandum seeking their intervention.

A revenue official said he had no say in matter relating to changes in the alignment of the expansion project. The executing agency of the project was competent to deal with such requests, he said, seeking anonymity.