The Dandi Highway

In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi and his 78 assistants embarked on the historic `Dandi Yatra', the 25-day march on foot to break the salt law that would launch the national civil disobedience movement. Come 2019, you can retrace this 410-km journey in your car, your foot firmly on the accelerator.
The ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) has given clearance for the National Highway 64. This route, which was earlier known as NH 228, will pass through 21 villages where Gandhiji took night halts.
“The `Dandi highway' overlaps the existing national highway between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. But Anand onwards, the route has a different alignment,“ said Sudharshan Iyengar, chairman of the High Level Dandi Memorial Committee, a special body formed by Union ministry of culture for management of the historic Dandi March route.
“We have proposed detours at places where we had to construct bridges across rivers or railway lines that would have escalated the cost to close to Rs.1,700 crore,“ said Iyengar, who added that there is no fixed cost attached to the project and they are allocating funds as need arises.
“We have installed special signages to depict path diversions for commuters wherever the path is not motorable,“ said Iyengar Over Rs.20 crore has been earmarked for special signages and restoration of buildings where Gandhiji and his marchers had halted for the night, sources said. Gujarat Vidyapith vice-chancellor Anamik Shah said, “We are helping the committee in devising a Dandi route management plan and also proposing interactive multimedia kiosks at night halts to engage tourists,“ says Shah.
Officials in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) claim that the Dandi heritage route will be moving on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai highway in parts -which includes the Chandola-Narol-Aslali stretch followed by the Matar-Nadiad stretch. Meanwhile, Gujarat tourism department is also installing plaques in each village on the route containing text Bapu's speech at that particular spot and also display some rare photographs.

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