Lucknow, Sept 12 (UNI) A 'chakka jam' call given by the VHP to protest the Centre's decision to go ahead with the Sethusamudram project today caused traffic jams and rail blockades across Uttar Pradesh.
The VHP, Bajrang Dal, BJP and other affliated activists blocked trains in Kanpur, Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad and Gorakhpur as a mark of protest. Though most of the trains were stopped for only half-an-hour, it resulted in delay of several trains.
The Saffron brigade activists also blocked important intersections in several cities of the state, including Lucknow, Allahabad, Gorakhpur and Varanasi.
In the state capital, VHP activists blocked intersections at Chowk, Latuche Road and Nishatganj, stranding commuters for several hours. Though the three-hour-long 'chakka jam' was to start at 0800 hrs, VHP activists took to the streets around 0930 hrs.
While the delay helped children reach school on time, it created problems for office goers.
In Kanpur, VHP members stopped the Kanpur-Farrukhabad passenger train at Rawatpur. They also made an effort to block the Allahabad-Delhi main rail route, besides intercepting traffic at GT road, Mallroad, Rawatpur, Kalyanpur, Naubasta and other areas.
In Gorakhpur too, the VHP activists stopped the Amrapali Express and blocked traffic at three busy intersections. Saffron flags with 'Om' inscribed on them were also displayed.
According to VHP the canal project would damage the Adam's Bridge or Ramsethu, a man-made bridge according to Hindu mythology.
The Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project proposes linking the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka by creating a shipping canal through the shallow sea, and through the island chain of Rama's Bridge, also known as Adam's Bridge. This would provide a continuous navigable sea route around the Indian Peninsula. The project involves digging a 44.9 nautical mile (83 km) long deepwater channel linking the shallow water of the Palk Strait with the Gulf of Mannar.