Villagers stall Navi Mumbai airport work

Marching together: Villagers from Kombadbhuje, Ulwe, Ganeshpuri, Varchevada, Vaglevada and Targhar protest against the Navi Mumbai Airport in Ulwe on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Yogesh Mhatre

Navi Mumbai: Thousands of project-affected people from six villages protested against the proposed Navi Mumbai Airport on Thursday and stalled the ongoing work for the day.

They threatened to stop the work till the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd. (CIDCO) did not fulfil their demands.

“We will protest even harder if our demands are not met and won’t let the airport work resume. We have submitted a letter to CIDCO and indicated that we will resort to aggressive methods,” said Rajendra Patil, who led the protest.

The protesters were from Kombadbhuje, Ulwe, Ganeshpuri, Varchevada, Vaglevada and Targhar villages. According to them, they have been granted ₹1,000 for per sq.ft. for the construction of their new homes, which they say is a very small amount.

“We were granted ₹1,000 per sq.ft. in 2011, and now it will soon be 2018. The amount needs to be revised. CIDCO had promised temples, schools and a crematorium on the land on which we are to be rehabilitated. But nothing has been done till now, so how can we be relocated there and how can we leave our current homes?” asked Mr. Patil.

A CIDCO official confirmed that the work to blast and cut the hill at some places was stalled by protesters on Thursday.

“The demand for a rise in the money paid to them to construct their new homes is open for consideration. This amount is not the construction cost, but construction aid granted to them. We have provided them plots three times the roof area. So they have three times more land and construction aid. We will also bear the transportation cost. CIDCO will also pay their rent for 18 months when they shift to a rented space,” the official said.

The official said the land where the project-affected people are to be relocated has been developed enough to start the construction of their new homes, which will take another one to two years.

At a recent Cabinet meeting, the CIDCO managing director was given the power to discuss the increase in the construction aid with the Principal Secretary of the Urban Development Department, the official said.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 9:21:15 PM |

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