Upping the ante against the $90 billion (approximately Rs. 4.8 lakh crore) Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, the Anti-Corridor Farmers’ Struggle Committee has accused the state government of expediting the land acquisition process in Raigad district to circumvent the provisions of the recently-tabled Land Acquisition Bill, 2011. The bill is likely to be passed in 2013.
Farmers protest against the Corridor project at Azad Maidan on Tuesday.
The committee – an umbrella organisation comprising various bodies that are against the project – organised a rally at Azad Maidan on Tuesday to announce their plan of intensifying the agitation.
According to activists that led the agitation, the state government is in a hurry to complete the acquisition process, as the new land bill makes it mandatory for private-public projects to obtain the consent of at least 70% of the people whose land is being taken. “The government should convince people about their projects instead of sending acquisition notices. The state wants to wrap up the land acquisition at cheap rates and without consultations,” said Ulka Mahajan, civil rights activist.
The state had started the acquisition process three months ago, under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) Act.
From April 10, citizens from 42 villages have been carrying out a daily sit-in demonstration in front of the tehsil office in Mangaon taluka. The demonstration will end on May 6, following which the president of the anti-DMIC committee, ND Patil, and Mahajan plan to meet chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
Janardan Mankar, a farmer from Kadape village, said, “Our farmlands were notified by the revenue department two years ago. We got notices from the subdivisional officer a few months ago. They have offered a paltry sum of Rs50,000 for an acre. We don’t want compensation. We are against the project.”
“The DMIC would wipe out farming and fishing activities and use the water to create exclusive townships,” said Mahajan. Revenue secretary Praveen Singh Pardeshi was unavailable for comment.