About 1,200 hectare of land from the villages was acquired for the SEZ in 2007.
MUMBAI: Bowing to pressure from farmers, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has cancelled the proposed special economic zone (SEZ) in Rajgurunagar-Khed, Pune district. He has even waived off land transfer fees to the farmers after which their land will be returned to them without any hurdles.
A delegation of farmers led by Hatkangle MP, Raju Shetti, on Friday thanked the CM for cancelling the SEZ on their land. The CM told the delegation, “After studying the SEZ, I realised that injustice was being done to the farmers and they were being cheated. We stand firmly behind the farmers who are the backbone of the state.”
Villages in the Rajgurunagar-Khed area, including Nimgaon, Kanersar, Dawdi and Kendur were affected by the SEZ. About 1,200 hectare of land from the villages was acquired for the SEZ in 2007. The farmers were against giving their lands to the government and protested several times. They were not happy with the package offered to them. The locals even protested an airport which was proposed in the area. After several meetings with the government, the CM decided to scrap the project.
As per the 2007 agreement, 15 per cent of the land was returned to the villagers. However, for the transfer of land back to the farmers, a Rs 23 crore stamp duty was supposed to be paid by them. The government has waived off the stamp duty, bringing relief to the farmers.
The Maharashtra Land Acquisition Act was amended in 2013 with a provision to give back land to farmers if it wasn’t used as intended within five years. A large number of SEZ projects in Maharashtra got stuck owing to various issues and land acquired for these projects lay idle. Therefore, the government decided to return the land to the farmers.