Maharashtra PWD Minister Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena today his party leadership never opposed the Nagpur-Mumbai expressway project which is facing opposition in certain districts over land acquisition issues. Shinde’s comments comes in the wake of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray last month expressing his opposition to acquisition of agricultural and fertile land for the road corridor. Shinde was present at a function held on July 13 where farmers from Hingna tehsil of Nagpur district gave away their lands for the venture. At the event, six landholders signed sale deeds with the state government to mark the land acquisition process for the project, also called `samruddhi mahamarg’ (prosperity expressway).
“The Shiv Sena leadership was never against the samruddhi mahamarg. We only wanted to protect farmer interest and hence I visited Nagpur for witnessing the signing of land sale deeds. It’s a development project and we will not oppose it if issues raised by land owners are addressed,” Shinde, the leader of the Shiv Sena in the assembly, said. Officially called the Nagpur Mumbai Super Communication Expressway (NMSCE), the project is estimated to cost Rs 46,000 crore and will pass through Nagpur, Buldhana, Amravati, Wardha, Washim, Thane, Aurangabad, Akola, Bhiwandi and Nashik districts. The project is facing opposition from farmers in some pockets along its 700km route, especially in Nashik district.