The last rites of a 33-year-old man were on Saturday performed on the roadside in Hinjewadi-Maan MIDC area with some locals alleging they do not have a proper cremation ground.
The last rites of Parmeshwar Gaware, a resident of Gawarewadi, a small hamlet near Rajiv Gandhi IT Park, were performed on the roadside. Villagers alleged that MIDC had acquired their land and allotted a 6,000 sq ft (six guntha) land in the phase three for crematorium.
However, the MIDC “failed” to handover the possession and rights over the land to the Maan gram panchayat, they claimed. “A farmer has claimed his rights on the allotted land and they are not allowing the handover of the land, prompting residents of Gawarewadi to perform last rites of their kin at the road- side in Hinjawadi-Maan MIDC area in phase three of IT Park,” said Rohidas Sawant, cousin of the deceased. He said this was not the first time a cremation took place by the roadside. “We have been cremating bodies since 2007 at the place and it came to light today after the photos of cremation went viral on social media,” Sawant said.
Major IT firms and mega township projects are in proximity of the road, where the last rites are performed.
Sandip Sathe, deputy sarpanch of Maan village, said MIDC handed over acres of land for various projects but nothing was done for the crematorium.
“Residents of this small hamlet, which comes under Maan gram panchayat, used the same place for cremation purpose before 2007 and that time, there was no road, but MIDC acquired their lands for development and constructed the road.
“Now these people, who do not have their own place for last rites, prefer the same place at the roadside,” he said.
Sathe added that currently only a handful of people living in Gawarewadi are facing the issue, and wondered what would happen once the residential projects are completed and people come to stay here.
“Where will they go for last rites?” he wondered. Santosh Deshmukh, regional officer of MIDC, said he was “not fully aware” of the issue and would comment after taking details.