The Shiv Sena is likely to take up the issue of rehabilitation of farmers who will be affected by the Mumbai-Nagpur super-communication expressway in Shahpur area of Thane district. The expressway is chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ dream project.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday assured the project affected people (PAP) that the party will see to it that they are not displaced. He also said that the Sena will ask the chief minister to change the alignment of the project.
The announcement came from the Sena chief after meeting a delegation of the PAP, headed by the farmers’ coordination committee.
“We will not allow the farmers’ lands to be acquired. Instead, I will ask for change in alignment of the super-expressway project or try to come out with an alternative. For that, I will meet the chief minister and concerned officers,” Thackeray told reporters after meeting the delegation at Matoshri.
The Rs46,000 crore super-communication expressway is the most ambitious project of the BJP-led state government, spearheaded by the chief minister.
It will pass through 10 districts, covering a distance of 710-km and connect 24 rural districts, that include Shahpur in Thane.
Sena leaders said that the current alignment will badly affect Shahpur farmers as they will lose their farm land and this needed to be reconsidered.
The issue may lead to another face-off between the warring partners ahead of the last leg of municipal council polls and the coming Zilla Parishad (ZP) elections that will be followed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, scheduled in early next year.
This is not the first time that Sena has opposed a major infrastructure project over the rehabilitation of people who would be affected by it. Last year, the party had opposed the rehabilitation of PAPs from Girgaum and Kalbadevi who were affected with the Metro 3 project. This led the chief minister to declare in-situ rehabilitation of PAP’s with bigger homes.
The 710km, eight-lane expressway will require 20,820 hectares of land, of which 8,520 hectares will be for the road and nearly 12,000 hectares for the development of 24 townships.
The objective of the expressway is to provide seamless connectivity across districts like Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana, Aurangabad, Jalna, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Thane.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is the nodal agency for the project.