Setback to the State govt as a section of the affected villagers reject the relief package

Navi Mumbai : The Maharashtra government has suffered a setback on its proposed Navi Mumbai International Project, as a section of affected villagers have rejected the compensation package. The villagers were not satisfied with the government’s offer of 22.5 per cent developed land, along with the 2.5 FSI to project-affected persons (PAPs).

On November 11, it was assumed that the decks had been cleared for the state-of-the-art airport, when a deal was clinched after a high-level meeting between Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, CIDCO officials and PAP representatives at Sahyadri Guest House .
Further, the government had also agreed to give those affected triple the size of their plots to construct houses. The minimum size of the house would be 40 square metres, with a construction cost of Rs 1,000 per square metre.
After receiving a favourable note, even the Prime Minister’s Office approved the November 11 deal.
However, the matter turned bitter when seven of the eight villages falling under Raigad district met on Sunday and rejected the deal between the government and the Antar Rashtriya Vimansthal Prakalpgrast Badhit Samiti, representing PAPs. The villagers are now demanding a further increase in compensation.
These villages together hold 500 of 700 hectares, which is required for the proposed airport project. The villagers, that are opposing the agreement, are from Pargaon, Ovala, Vaghivali, Kolhi Kopar, Dungi and Kundewahal. Among these villages, Pargaon is considered most important because the actual runway of the proposed airport will be built there.
The PAPs, after agreeing on 22.5 per cent developed land and cash compensation, are now asking 35 per cent developed land, as well as cash compensation. However, it is not still clear why they had agreed to the government’s proposal at the high-level meeting only to reject it in the next few days.
It may be mentioned that the project has already missed the original timeline of 2009 for one reason or the other.
The State government, as well as CIDCO, remain tight-lipped about the latest development. Now, the government has two options in hand. Either it might have to scrap the project or the airport might come up on the sea link, as in Japan and Hong Kong. The government is considering other options if the PAPs do not accept the compensation package offered by CIDCO, a source knowing the development said. The planning body had already made it clear that compensation would not be increased and the agency would go ahead with its tender process for the project.

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