Vadhavan Port: Protesters Bring Traffic To A Halt On Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway

Vadhavan Port: Protesters Bring Traffic To A Halt On Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway

Amid reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the port by this month-end, the protesters warned the government not to go ahead with the programme.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 09:50 PM IST
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Vadhavan Port | FPJ

Mumbai, February 22: Even as decks have been cleared for the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) authorities to begin the construction of the contentious Vadhavan port, hundreds of protesters held a 'rasta roko' on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway in Palghar on Thursday to oppose the project, bringing traffic to a halt for hours.

Heavy police deployment was put in place at the protest site at the Charoti toll plaza on the highway between 12 noon to 2.30 PM, during which villagers and fishermen from the region waved black flags and raised slogans against the multi-crore greenfield port.

Protesters Warn To Intensify Agitation:

Amid reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the port by this month-end, the protesters warned the government not to go ahead with the programme, failing which the protests will be stepped up.

The villagers said the project would sound the death knell for their livelihoods. They want to hold a dialogue with the state government and the Centre so that their concerns are addressed.

About Vadhavan Port:

Vadhavan is a village in Dahanu taluka of the district. The port is being developed by the JNPT and the Maharashtra Maritime Board. It received in-principle approval from the Centre in February 2020, and has maintained that the construction would not render people of the region homeless as only limited land will be acquired with fair compensation.

Narayan Patil, president of the Vadhavan Port Virodhi Kruti Samiti (Anti-Vadhavan Port Action Committee), said the local people are completely against this port. More than 15 organisations are part of the action committee.

He said the government was indifferent to the concerns expressed by the locals and accused the authorities of pushing the project despite opposition.

Construction To Start Soon:

The JNPT has received environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), and the proposed port is being touted as a game changer for Maharashtra.

“With the Prime Minister likely to perform bhoomi pujan of the proposed port by month-end, we will start the port construction soon. What remains is clearance from the union cabinet. Once we receive that, we will decide the future course of action,” a senior JNPA official said, not wishing to be named.

When asked whether the protest from the fishermen community will have any impact on the port construction going forward, the official replied in the negative and hoped that the local people understand its importance for the overall socio-economic development of the region as well as the state. (With Agencies)

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