Raigad on the verge become another Nandigram: Congress
Committee suggests withdrawal of land acquisition notices
# Land acquisition completed in some cases: report
# Farmers planning to stage protest at Assembly
MUMBAI: Raigad district, where farmers are protesting against the Reliance group's 10,000-hectare special economic zone (SEZ), could turn into a Nandigram, an interim report of a three-member Congress committeewarned on Friday.
The final report of the team, which visited Raigad and interacted with the farmers, will take more time. It is learnt the report suggested that the land acquisition notices be withdrawn, but Sanjay Nirupam, a member of the committee and former MP, did not confirm it.
Last week, in the Legislative Council, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said the Government would not come in the way of land acquisition by the company. He also said productive land would not be acquired. However, the fact-finding team found that land acquisition was in progress, and the hearings were still on. In some cases, the acquisition process had been completed.
The team recorded the opposition to the project by the farmers.
Land acquisition notices have been sent by the Government to people in 45 villages of Pen, Uran and Panvel talukas. The farmers don't want to give up the land, which they say is fertile.
Earlier this week, Maharashtra Congress president Prabha Rau appointed the team, comprising Mr. Nirupam, the former MP Ramshet Thakur and State party secretary Sanjay Patil, to look into the situation in Raigad.
On Saturday, farmers from Pen taluka gheraoed Collector D. Zagade in Alibag, and demanded that the land acquisition notices be withdrawn.
According to Vaishali Patil of the SEZ Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, the farmers submitted an application to the Collector.
Mr. Zagade told them he had no orders to withdraw the notices.
Last week, there was a massive protest against the SEZ, and a protest is being planned at the Assembly next week.