Land acquired for scrapped MahaMumbai SEZ to be returned to farmers soon, says minister Subhash Desai

Sanjay JogUpdated: Monday, March 21, 2022, 09:21 PM IST
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Subhash Desai |

Finally, wait seems to be over for the farmers to get their lands given for the much discussed MahaMumbai SEZ which has failed to take off in the last 15 years. Industry Minister Subhash Desai told the state assembly on Monday that the ongoing hearing with the Raigad district collector with regard to returning the farmers’ lands acquired for MahaMumbai SEZ will be completed in three months. The government had acquired 1,504 hectares in Uran, Pen and Panvel tehsils of the Raigad district for the project. The project has been scrapped for no development.

However, the farmers are demanding that their lands should be returned without further delays as the project was not executed yet. Mukesh Ambani and Anand Jain promoted Mumbai SEZ Ltd had acquired 1,504 hectares of non-contiguous land at Rs 10 lakh per acre by mutual consent. During a referendum taken in October 2008, farmers and villagers had cast their votes against the project.

BJP legislator Ashish Shelar sought to know why the government is delaying the return of these lands. “When will this procedure be completed? Or will this go on indefinitely,” Shelar sought to know, to which the minister responded that the hearing will be completed in three months.

In his reply, Desai said, ‘’A hearing in this regard is underway with the district collector and necessary action will be completed as soon as possible. Out of 8,134 hectares of land, 1,504 hectares has been acquired by the government. The rest of the lands are not having remarks which means they belong to the farmers.’’

The minister said that the MahaMumbai SEZ company was given five extensions for the use of 1,504 hectares of land but it has not made any development there. ‘’Therefore, the farmers have demanded the return of their lands and based on their representations the hearing is underway which will be completed in three months,’’ he noted.

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