Even farmers from Vidharbha’s Amravati districts have agitated against the project.
Mumbai: For the first time, farmers from all three regions who are opposing the Samruddhi Mahamarg met each other in Aurangabad. Farmers from six districts of Maharashtra came together in Aurangabad on Monday to discuss the project. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had called the meeting to hear their grievances. After the meeting, Mr Pawar said, “I am not against development. But it should have a humane face. Farmers who oppose are being taken into police custody. This must be stopped.”
Samruddhi Mahamarg, a pet project of CM Devendra Fadnavis has become a reason for many farmers to lose their lands, forcing them to vehemently opposing the 710-kilometre long super highway project connecting Mumbai and Nagpur. Recently, these farmers had held rallies in Palghar and Nasik district. Even farmers from Vidharbha’s Amravati districts have agitated against the project.
This year during the middle of May, different farmer organisations and farmers in their individual capacity had met Mr Pawar in Mumbai and appealed for him to pay attention to their protest. In response to which, Mr Pawar had then called their united meeting, which took place on Monday in Aurangabad. For this meeting, for the first time, farmers from all the three regions - North Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha were present.
After the meeting, Mr Pawar said, “All farmer organisations that are opposing the Samruddhi Mahamarg should unite and put up a concentrated fight. I am told that the government is using Google maps to conduct surveys. It is wrong. The survey must be done with the agreement of farmers.”
NCP leader and farmers have now decided to meet CM Devendra Fadnavis for this issue. “We will meet CM Fadnavis with the farmers and try to put across out issue before him. But I will be with the farmers and will not mediate between the government and the farmers,” informed Mr Pawar. He also told that if the government didn’t listen to the farmers, then there will be a stronger agitation against the project in the future.
Up in arms
The different farmer organisations of project-affected people that recently met in Shahapur, Thane are opposing the idea of project itself. In Shahapur, Nasik and some districts of Aurangabad, farmers are not ready to give their land for this project. They are demanding cancellation of the project.
Farmers from Buldhana and Amravati are also demanding the cancellation of the project. They are saying the Nagpur - Aurangabad highway that's already in use should be widened than making new one.
State government has applied Maharashtra State Highway Act from 1956 to acquire land for the project. Some farmers have demanded for the use of Land Acquisition Act of 2013, as that would help them get better compensation.
PROJECTS OPPOSED IN THE PAST