Uran village flooded but residents won’t vacate homes
Around 300 residents of Dungi village, one of areas near the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport that faces a flood-like situation after heavy rains, have again demanded that the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) help them in relocating and give them a revised compensation package.
After heavy rains since Tuesday, the village was submerged and people were forced to travel in boats to safety. While water has receded a bit, waterlogging continues.
Dungi and Pargaon are in a core Navi Mumbai airport project zone. As the airport work has started, the villagers have to be shifted to Karanjade node.
Dungi is located in Uran taluka, 29 kms from Panvel. Residents of Dungi have been opposing the land acquisition by Cidco for three years. However, as all the nearby villages have given in, the airport work is in progress in those areas.
As a result, the height of the nearby areas has been raised. Owing to this, water is bound to enter the village.
Cidco has offered ₹50,000 as compensation for the first four months and then rent for 18 months thereafter. The villagers will also be given three times the amount of land they had.
“Cidco has not clarified where they will give us land. They have not clarified anything. All they want from us is to relocate. If we relocate, we fear we will not get anything and nothing will be left for us to negotiate with,” said Salita Naik, 65, a resident of Dungi.
Priya Ratambe, PRO, Cidco, said, “To relocate, the villagers need to accept the compensation package offered by us. We have assured them that their demands will be fulfilled. All help will be extended to them for shifting.Whatever has been promised will be given to them.”
Pundalik Mahatre from Ulwe, who is heading the coordinating committee of four villages — Waghivali, Targhar, Ganeshpuri and Kombadbhuje, said, “ None of the project-affected villages are happy with Cidco as they are not clear about compensation. People fear that if they leave their houses, they will be left with nothing to negotiate. Hence, they choose to be in their houses even if it is waterlogged or dangerous.”
Environmentalist Nand Kumar Pawar said, “Only Cidco is to be blamed. We warned them about the impact of wetland reclamation and diverting the river. They blasted the hill and changed the flow of the river, affecting the bird habitat and transforming the breeding areas into a concrete floor. Water-holding capacity of the river is considerably reduced.”