Navi Mumbai: Channel Bandh agitation called off after 7 hours
The JNPT project-affected fishing community, on Friday, conducted a Channel Bandh agitation, blocking ship movement at the country’s largest container port for seven hours. This was in support of their 36-year-long pending issue of resettling the displaced families of erstwhile Sheva village.
The agitation was called off in the afternoon following the intervention of Raigad MP Sunil Tatkare, who personally promised to resolve the issue in four-five days.
“JNPT deputy chairman, Umesh Wagh, spoke to the agitators and assured that an amicable solution will be found. Wagh promised that a high-level meeting will be held next Thursday,” Dilip Koli of Paaramparik Machhimar Bachao Kruti Samiti said.
He added, “The CM and deputy CM had given orders after our previous protests and yet JNPT has not done the needful. In 1986, the government had decided to allot us a 17-acre land for the 256 displaced families and we are asking exactly the same and nothing more.”
Parmanand Koli, one of the displaced families from Hanuman Koliwada, said, “On Thursday, Raigad collector, Nidhi Chaudhary, wrote to JNPT asking to allot the land immediately to us and we are still waiting.”
The agitation was originally planned on Republic Day but was put off to February 26 with the intervention of the police who promised to have the issue resolved, said Suresh Damodar Koli, head of Hanuman Koliwada Village Reforms Committee.
The Sheva families have been relegated to transit camp at Hanuman Koliwada for 14 years. The original plan of 1986 was to allot 17 hectares at Bori Pakhadi at Uran city, which is now a wetland with mangroves growing.
Two villages – Nhava and Sheva – were acquired originally for the creation of Nhava Sheva Port Trust, which has been later renamed as JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust).
By Friday evening JNPT issued a statement which said, “JNPT has paid the entire cost towards compensation for acquiring the land and also the cost of rehabilitation to the Government of Maharashtra for resettlement of the residents of the village Hanuman Koliwada.”
JNPT said that it had fulfilled its commitments and that the state government had to take further action in the matter. It has written to the state government on the issue of second rehabilitation of village Hanuman Koliwada.