Landowners from 45 villages in Raigad district have got organised to decide their next move to discourage the state from reconsidering a fresh proposal to set up the economic zone.
This came a day after the Government Board of Approval in Delhi asked Mumbai SEZ Ltd (MSEZ) to present a fresh proposal to set up the multi-product SEZ. “Our land is fertile,” said Ulka Mahajan of SEZ Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, a group fighting against the economic zones.
The group will meet the collector and the minister in charge on Sunday at Pen.
The 10,000-hectare Mukesh Ambani-promoted MSEZ hoped to build the largest free-trade multipurpose zone in Raigad at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore. But landowners and farmers opposed it. While about 29,000 notices of land acquisition had been issued across 45 villages, only 20 per cent gave their land.
The district collector then conducted a referendum on the project in 22 villages in 2008, the report of which is pending with the government. The pending land acquisition issues had made the MSEZ apply for two extensions that expired on August 8. The Board of Approvals, which gives a final approval to set up SEZs, was unable to give its nod as it requires 90 per cent of the land to be acquired. The state is yet to get the order from the Board.
“We do not know what the order is and so I cannot comment on the same,” said A.M. Khan, Industries secretary.