The announcement of additional 12000 seat facility by IT giant Wipro at Phase II of Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology (IT) Park at Hinjewadi on Tuesday have brought smiles on the face of Chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is busy promoting state for sector. But the real headache lies ahead before Maharashtra government with the farmers having land are not ready to sell it for developing Phase III and IV of the IT park, as a result the land acquisition is completely stopped.
The stiff opposition by farmers to any land acquisition by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), which is developing the IT park, despite IT majors eying major chunk of land at Phase III and IV after space at initial two phases of IT park at Hinjewadi near Pune was sold before its completion have put the MIDC officials into tizzy.
The reflection of the problems during land acquisition was reflected in chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's speech after the inauguraton of the Wipro's additional 12000 seat facility, on Tuesday. "There is problem of land acquisition….. The responsibility of government is to see that proper market value to be given while there should also be some packages for farmers so that he is benefited", Deshmukh said. Various IT majors including Wipro and Infosys have bought major land in the initial two phases of this IT park. After the latest addition of 12000 seats, the total capacity of Wipro will ramp up to around 17000 seats, spread over 19,00,000 sq feet. The land acquired by Wipro at Hinjewadi park is prior to 2005 when there was no opposition from farmers for the park.
Following the unrest and violent protest from farmers of Man village near Hinjewadi, last year, the administration was forced to stop the land acquisition exercise at Phase III and IV. "after the opposition from farmers, we have totally stopped the land measurement in Hinjewadi phase III", Suresh Jadhav, deputy collector and in-charge of land acquisition, told HT. According to Purshottam Jadhav, Regional Officer, MIDC, "There are some problems at Hinjewadi IT park. Despite strong demand of land from various IT majors for Phase IV, we could not allot land to them as the acquisition is halted following farmers continuous from last year".
Farmers however say that they have already given enough land for setting up IT compan ies and now they will not give any inch of land for the same. Mhalari Bodakhe, an activist of Maan village action committee, set up for opposing the land acquisition by farmers at Hinjewadi IT park says "come what may, we will not give our land to government for setting up anymore IT companies here".
The Rajiv Gandhi IT park at Hinjewadi host many IT companies including Infosys, Wipro, Geometrics, Cognizent and Canbey. Its direct connectivity to Pune-Mumbai expressway and City's international connectivity has made the IT park most favoured in the state. The Phase II, III and IV have been included in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by the state government.