Days after Cidco chairman Pramod Hindurao affirmed work on the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) will begin in three to four months, farmers whose land was to be acquired for the project have upped the ante and called for a meeting on January 14 that will be chaired by former judge BG Kolse-Patil. They claim that villages where the work of land measurements had begun are opposing the project, too.
Mahendra Patil, sarpanch of Pargaon, one of the villages opposed to the airport project, claimed, “Even those in Targhar and Kopar villages where Cidco has started making land measurements, are now opposed to the project. Farmers from these villages will be joining us in the meeting on January 14. Somewhere down the line, farmers from those villages, too, have woken up to the double standards adopted by Cidco.”
Patil also came down severely on the political leaders in the region, who he alleged have been misleading people by claiming that villages have cooled down their opposition. “The six villages continue to oppose the project. We have now come together under a new banner and have formed a committee which includes professionals and well-educated people and will be taking our fight to the corridors of the state government,” Patil said.
He said, “These six villages are where the main runway will be built. The villages who agreed to the project are the ones who had surrendered their lands long time back and had also availed benefits under the 12.5% scheme. We are fighting for our rights.”
When contacted, Cidco chairman Sanjay Bhatia, said, “I am not aware of the development that any village has opposed measurements. As far as two opposing villages are concerned, we have not even started measurements there.”
According to the package offered by the state government, project-affected people would get developed land to the extent of 22.5% of the area they surrender. Of this developed land, 12.5% would have an FSI of 1.5 and the rest 10% an FSI of 2.5. They will also get shares in the new company, alternate land thrice the size of their current residence along with Rs1,000 per sq ft as construction cost, besides job guarantees for their children. The farmers have been demanding cash compensation of Rs6.25 crore per hectare along with 35% developed plot.
Patil said, “We are ready for talks with government but want compensation as per the new law, which is a just demand.”