Navi Mumbai: Farmers In Panvel Launch Indefinite Strike Against NAINA Project; Block Mumbai-Goa Highway In Protest

Navi Mumbai: Farmers In Panvel Launch Indefinite Strike Against NAINA Project; Block Mumbai-Goa Highway In Protest

The protestors’ main demand is to cancel the NAINA project and allow them to keep 50 per cent of the land for infrastructure development.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 07:06 PM IST
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CIDCO Bhavan | File

Even as the farmers from Panvel have launched indefinite strike since December 6 to protest against implementation of Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) project, they have alleged the authorities from the state government and City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of turning blind eye.

Peeved over inaction from the authorities, the protestors blocked the Mumbai-Goa Highway on Monday for 10 minutes to seek the attention of the machinery. The protestors’ main demand is to cancel the NAINA project and allow them to keep 50 per cent of the land for infrastructure development.

Matter to be taken up on December 3

The project does not entail the land acquisition process, but proposes land pooling by villagers wherein CIDCO, the Special Planning Authority for the project, gets to keep 60 per cent of the land for infrastructure development while the project affected people get the remaining 40 per cent with 2.5 FSI. CIDCO does not have to pay any monetary compensation to the villagers.

Leading the protest, former MLA Balaram Patil said the CIDCO officials had come to the site where the protests were conducted. “However, they didn’t discuss anything and said that the matter would be taken up during a meeting between CIDCO administration and protesters on December 23,” Patil added.

'We will ensure no discrimination is done'

Stating that it’s difficult to survive solely on farming, Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur said the farmers sold their land to builders for want of money. “The state government is for overall development of the farmers and we will ensure that no discrimination is done while developing infrastructural development in NAINA area,” Thakur added.

When contacted, a CIDCO official said on condition of anonymity, “Decision regarding demands of the farmers will be taken by the state government after the winter session of the state legislature. We will be meeting protestors on December 23 and hope to arrive at a favourable conclusion.”

Project under fire since 2013

NAINA, the project that brings areas within 25-km radius of the under-construction Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) within CIDCO's administrative control, is spread over 371 sq km comprising 174 villages.

NAINA project has been receiving opposition from the people since its inception in 2013. Demanding cancellation of the project, the villagers are opposed to the scheme of land pooling and want compensation. They had staged protests under the auspices of NAINA Prakalpbadhit Shetkari Utkarsh Samiti that include chain protest, bike rally as also padayatra to Mantralaya.

Stating that the project is destroying the farmers, their fields and environment, the agitators were adamant on their stand and said that the opposition to the project will continue till their demands are met.

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