Mumbai-Nagpur corridor: NCP chief Sharad Pawar promises to fight for farmers losing land

The Rs31, 427-crore Mumbai-Nagpur prosperity corridor is expected to pass through 10 districts

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2017 09:30 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai-Nagpur corridor,land acquisition,farmers in Maharashtra
Farmers do not want to give up their land, despite being offered compensation.(Photo for representation)

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and former union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar recently convened a meeting of representatives from the districts through which Maharashtra’s Rs31, 427-crore Mumbai-Nagpur prosperity corridor is expected to pass. Pawar assured the farmers that he will fight for the rights of those in danger of losing their land. The move comes after farmers opposing land acquisition approached Pawar, asking him to intervene.

Farmers from almost all the 10 districts the 710-km corridor is slated to pass through do not want to give up their land. They have formed district and taluka level action committees to oppose the acquisition.

“We met Pawar on May 10. He told us he will meet with farmers on May 29. He will announce his party’s stand on the corridor and decide on a course of action to safeguard the interests of the farmers,” said Baban Harne, conveyor of Maharashtra Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti.

“The government has started acquiring land arbitrarily without following legal procedures under the land acquisition laws. It has been using the police force to suppress the voice of the farmers. We will step up protests after meeting Pawar again,” he added.

The expressway needs about 20,820 hectares of land of which 84.13% is agriculture land. In most districts, farmers have opposed the land pooling scheme, which offers Rs30,000 to Rs60,000 an acre a year as compensation for 10 years, with an annual increase of 10% every year. The farmers will also be entitled to 25 to 30% of the developed land along the corridor. The government has now offered the famers four times the market rate of the land. However, they are still unimpressed.

First Published: May 15, 2017 12:45 IST