Bowing to opposition from local communities, Maharashtra government on Monday cancelled four proposed Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The decision was taken at a meeting between Industries Minister Narayan Rane and board members of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation in Mumbai.

“We have cancelled four SEZs, which were facing strong opposition from the locals,” Mr. Rane told reporters later.

Mahindra and Mahindra SEZ was to come up on 3,000 thousand hectares in Mawal in Pune district. India Bulls SEZ was to come up on 1,936 hectares at Ranjankhar, Raigad district. Videocon Realty and Infrastructure SEZs were to come up at Gandheli, Aurangabad and at Pune’s Wagholi, on areas of 2,763 and 1,000 hectares respectively.

“The locals, especially the farmers, were strongly against these SEZs. At Gandheli, police even had to lathicharge (to disperse the protests),” said Mr. Rane.

The senior Congress Minister also said that most of these lands were under irrigation, which was another reason. “We (MIDC) have adopted a policy wherein the land under irrigation is not acquired for the industrial purpose.”