Citizens from the remote villages of Shahpur Taluka in the Thane district carried out a bike rally to protest over the approval for the eco-sensitive zone. The villagers claim the eco-sensitive zone for the Tansa wildlife sanctuary will stop the progress and development across the villages.
The Central government in August 2017 declared the major part of Shahapur, Bhiwandi, Wada and Mokhada as an eco-sensitive zone for the upcoming Tansa Wildlife sanctuary.
The rally was participated by 200 motorcycles of these villages who roamed around 20 to 25 kilometres. The people roamed around creating awareness among the villages which were declared eco-sensitive.
"We carried out 12 meetings or sabha across the villages. Our main question is why they chose tribal parts. Usually, to carry out any project, they take permission from the Gramsabha. But in this case, no permission was taken. How can now they approve it without permission? Around 60 villages from Shahpur, 27 villages from Bhiwandi, 58 villages from Mokhade and 47 villages from Wada come under the eco-sensitive zone," said Balaram Bhoir, general secretary, Maharashtra Shramjivi Sanghatna.
"Even if the order was issued in 2017, the work for implementing it as an eco-sensitive zone had started now. They are now not allowing any encroachment and have started taking action. If any tribal is planning to start any business or farming, he would not be allowed and had to take permission. If we have a wedding and we play music, it will also be not allowed. They will further start taking action by disconnecting electricity," added Bhoir saying we will carry out a protest at the Bhiwandi office on December 28.
Bhoir further said the tribals going towards education are thinking for development, but this will never happen because of the sanctuary plan that the government has put forward.
Darshat Bhalke, Thane district general secretary, Maharashtra Shramjivi Sanghatna said that recently, they added 10 kilometres stretch and 66 major villages are going under it. There are restrictions coming in after it was declared an eco-sensitive zone. Farmer has to suffer in it. Upcoming educated youngsters will go jobless. "Being a tribal, we are depended on forest and entering the area will be restricted," added Bhalke.
Rajesh Narvekar, Collector, Thane District said, "We have not received a letter regarding the protest from the villagers."