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Mumbai-Nagpur highway: Maharashtra to pay farmers in Shahapur ₹2.43cr per acre

Mumbai city news: This week, the Thane district collectorate finalised land rates for farm land in Shahapur taluka, which is the highest compensation paid to farmers in Maharashtra for a public project,so far

mumbai Updated: Jul 18, 2017 12:29 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
Mumbai-Nagpur Highway,Maharashtra,Thane

In a move to stem farmers’ protests against land acquisition for the ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur super communication highway, the state government seems to have opened its purse strings.

This week, the Thane district collectorate finalised land rates for farm land in Shahapur taluka, which is the highest compensation paid to farmers in Maharashtra for a public project,so far. Farmers from Khardi village in Shahapur taluka stand to get Rs 2.43 crore for an acre of land under this project. The ready reckoner rate for this village for every hectare of land is around Rs29.59 lakh ( Around 2.4 acres make one hectare of land).

The compensation for the 23 villages in this taluka, which will lose land to the 706-km highway, ranges from Rs52.16 lakh to Rs5.84 crore for an hectare for land. This works out to Rs21.66 lakh to Rs2.43 crore for an acre of land. A copy of the land rates announced for every village per hectare is with HT.

After Khardi, farmers from villages like Dalkhan, Birwadi and Kasara will get a generous compensation of around Rs74.84 lakh and Rs68.93 lakh for an acre of land. This is a one-time compensation that will be paid to farmers if they opt for direct settlement with the state government.

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Given the wide range, however, not all farmers will be happy with the rates announced.

So far, the compensation given to farmers for the Shendre-Bidkin industrial park near Aurangabad under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor for nearly Rs23 lakh an acre was being considered as one of highest payouts for farm land. (In the case of DMIC, however, separate compensation was also given for orchards).

Thane district collector Dr Mahendra Kalyankar confirmed the final land rates for farm land in Shahapur taluka.

“We are trying to offer the highest land rate possible for every district affected by the project. It’s history in making,’’ said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The compensation for non-agriculture land in Shahapur taluka is even higher, in some cases as high as Rs12.60 crore to Rs18.11 crore for an acre of such land in Khardi and Kasara villages. However, only 10 to 15% of non-agricultural land comes under the highway, with officials claiming these rates could get revised as they seemed exorbitant.

The proposed eight-lane highway, which will run across 10 districts to link Nagpur to Thane, is facing stiff opposition from farmers over land acquisition. In a bid to tone down these protests, the government is offering competitive land rates to woo the farmers. The land rates are being worked out by committees appointed for every district led by the collector that considers a variety of parameters including ready reckoner rate of every village, average of last three years of sale deeds, the number of land transactions, compensation as per Land Acquisition law etc, 25 per cent more incentive offered by the state for direct sale.

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Last week, Nasik district collector had announced land rates for the district in the range of Rs40 lakh to Rs80 lakh for one hectare of land. But this had only intensified protests against the project with farmers from Nasik, not wooed by the compensation offered for their irrigated lands.

“We have considered a variety of factors and the rates get jacked up also by the number of land transactions that have taken place in that village. In Khardi, for instance, in the recent past, we noted nearly 500 land sale deeds. This was comparatively far less in Chande village that has among the lowest compensations in Shahapur,’’ said a Thane district collectorate official.

The Thane collectorate has also worked out rates for Kalyan taluka, which are far lower than Shahapur, with the highest compensation being Rs1.50 crore for an hectare of land or Rs62 lakh for an acre of land. The lowest compensation here is around Rs61.14 lakh for an hectare of land or Rs25.47 lakh for an acre of land.

The district administration may revise the land rates for Kalyan taluka given that farmers are likely to react negatively given the high rates offered in neighbouring Shahapur taluka.

First Published: Jul 15, 2017 10:00 IST