Land acquisition issues in Raigad district’s Panvel tehsil have been holding up the construction of a major power transmission line—a central project that is vital for the growing demand for power in the city.
Local farmers are not ready to give up their land for erecting the overhead line between Lonikand and Kalwa, as they fear not being able to cultivate land that is in the vicinity of industrial projects such as economic zones.
Centre-owned Power Grid Corporation of India has planned a 400-kilovolts (kv) transmission line for carrying additional power to Mumbai, Thane and New Mumbai. The line, once erected, will transmit additional load from various power stations. A substation will also be built along this line to handle the growing demand for power in the region.
ST Shinde, chief engineer of State Load Despatch Centre which controls the stability of the state’s transmission network, said that the project was important not just for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) but also for the rest of the state.
However, the state government is yet to convince farmers to give up their land. The villages opposing the project are Tembhode, Adai and Newale.
In the meanwhile, Prashant Thakur, a Congress MLA from Panvel, is negotiating better compensation for farmers in his constituency with the state and the Centre.
Thakur wants farmers to be compensated at the current market rate.
“Farmers in my area don’t want to give up their land because they have already sacrificed so much of farm land for various industrial and developmental projects in the past,” Thakur told HT.
Rajendra Mulak, minister of state (energy) said that he had held many meetings in the past, including one on Thursday for which Thakur did not turn up owing to personal reasons. Mulak added that the government was trying various options to satisfy protesting farmers.