The Maharashtra government’s plans to acquire land for the proposed Nagpur-Mumbai expressway may have hit a roadblock with farmers in the districts of Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Thane not having given their consent so far. These farmers, according to Baban Harne, convener of the Samruddhi Mahamarg Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti, have responded to the primary notification issued by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), saying they do not want to give up land for the project. Moreover, trouble has been brewing in these districts. Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director, MSRDC, told FE the joint measurement survey had been started only after public and individual notices. “Everything is on record and available for inspection in our Thane office,” he said. Kurundkar would not comment on whether the farmers had given their consent or not. Kurundkar said the police needed to be called in as a precautionary measure after some unscrupulous elements assaulted survey teams and damaged survey equipment.
Harne, however, alleges the objections of farmers have not been taken on record and that the joint measurement surveys were conducted without their consent.
He claims FIRs have been filed by the police against them in Kalyan district and that eight people from Chinchavali village were put behind bars for 15 days in Adharwadi jail. Harne claims FIRs were also filed against three people from Shahapur district. At Padgha police station FIRs have been filed against more than 74 farmers from Chiradpada, a village that lies in Bhiwandi district.
Lawyers FE spoke to said that in case land-owners have not given their consent, the executing authority has to issue a notification again.
Krrishan Singhania, Partner at Singhania and Company, said: “An amicable solution has to be found and all the procedures of The Bombay Highways Act must be followed. The Act allows for an appeal by an aggrieved party due to any decision by the highway authority”.