Amusement Park along Maharashtra coast hits roadblock, villagers refuse to part with land | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Amusement Park along Maharashtra coast hits roadblock, villagers refuse to part with land

Senior tourism department officials said that the project seemed to be on the back-burner. “We have been trying to talk to people, but they are not ready to give the land

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2017 23:16 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Terming it “political opposition”, the tourism minister said that the government had offered compensation that was much higher than the market rate, but land owners were not interested.
Terming it “political opposition”, the tourism minister said that the government had offered compensation that was much higher than the market rate, but land owners were not interested. (HT)

A year after the BJP-led state government started the process to acquire land for a plan to set up Sea World or a coastal amusement park, it has failed to convince the owners to part with their land. The ambitious project requires around 300 acres of land in villages of Tondavali and Vayangani in Sindhudurg district, 471km from Mumbai.

Senior tourism department officials said that the project seemed to be on the back-burner. “We have been trying to talk to people, but they are not ready to give the land. It looks difficult now. We can’t force people or expect them to voluntarily give their land. Until then, we are helpless,” tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal told HT.

The project was proposed under the Congress-NCP regime in 2009 but never took off. After the BJP-led government took over in 2014, it subsequently scaled down the size of the project. Initially, the government planned to acquire 1,390 acres, but it was later brought down to 300 acres, the minister said.

Terming it “political opposition”, the tourism minister said that the government had offered compensation that was much higher than the market rate, but land owners were not interested. “They are going to get nearly four times the market rate as compensation, but there is political opposition,” Rawal said. The government plans to acquire land through the private purchase route as the compensation will be as high as 3.75 times. They also hope that it will lower the villager’s resistance.

The project aims to set up a tourist attraction on the lines of the US-based chain of water-themed amusement parks. It is part of the government’s plan to develop the Konkan belt as a thriving tourist destination.

Apart from the amusement park, the government also plans to set up a skill development institute to generate employment in and around the region, and it also plans a marina in the area. “All our plans are linked, and they would go hand in hand, but we need land first. Then we will invite private players,” Rawal said.