Vasai villagers had been demanding the exclusion of 35 of their villages from the purview of the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC), and the government had promised to do so in April, but nothing has been done till date.
However, on Saturday, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan promised respite to Vasai villagers in the next 10 days.
"The CM has promised us that a notification will be issued in the next 10 days and we will wait and watch," said Vasai's independent legislator Vivek Pandit after meeting Chavan on Saturday.
For nearly two years, the villagers have been fighting for the exclusion of 53 villages, stating that it will lead to unplanned development in the region and will give way to land sharks. But the government eventually agreed to exclude 35, allowing them to have independent gram panchayats, while there was no commitment about the remaining 18 villages.
Chavan called upon Pandit in the midst of an agitation on Saturday afternoon, where 5,000 villagers and tribals launched a march from Vasai to Varsha, the CM's residence a distance of 100 km.
The march was intended to be the culmination of a week-long campaign in which Pandit and his supporters "begged" for Re 1 from the people in support of their demand and had collected Rs 54,000 by Saturday, which they intended to give to Chavan. "But by afternoon, the CM called us and talked to us. We have decided to keep our agitation on hold for the next 10 days," said Pandit.