With the Khed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) site being finalised for the Pune international airport, the government is keen on working out a compensation package with Bharat Forge for the project-affected people.
With the state Cabinet paving the way for the Navi Mumbai airport and issuing guidelines for a compensation package last week, the committee under the Additional Chief Secretary, general administration (Civil Aviation) P S Meena is set to meet next week to speed up the process for the Pune airport.
“We have finalised the site at Khed SEZ site, around 45 km from the city. The package will be similar to the SEZ package and we will talk to Bharat Forge to work out the compensation package for the project affected. We have communicated the same to the Bharat Forge chairman and managing director Baba Kalyani and will meet him next week,” said Meena.
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The airport site was given clearance in November at a high-level meeting convened under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Around 65 per cent land acquisition was complete, government officials said. Meena said the committee under him which includes the finance secretary, Maharashtra Airport Development Company officials as well as the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation would hold discussions on the compensation package with Kalyani.
“A report will be submitted to the government for clearance,” said Meena.
The site is considered suitable as most of the land is acquired as well as the remaining land acquisition will displace only 180 families in the surrounding areas. While the Navi Mumbai airport package was as per the new central law on land acquisition with the villagers to get back a plot measuring 22.5 per cent of the original land as well as additional floor space index of two, the Pune airport compensation will be based on the MIDC laws. “However, the final amount will be decided after discussion,” said an official. The project-affected people would be compensated as per the market rate, the official said.
Meanwhile, farmers from the area are on strike. Anti-Khed SEZ airport and anti-Khed Developers Ltd Save Farmers Action Committee has announced the strike to protest against the farmers not being given the compensation as announced during the SEZ package meeting. “Nearly 800 farmers are protesting from Nimgaon, Davadi, Kanersar, Gosasi and Kendur villages of Khed and Shirur talukas,” said Manohar Gorgalle from the committee.
The farmers have said of the 1,207 hectares acquired for SEZ, it was decided to return 15 per cent land to farmers. They claim that Khed Developers Ltd was formed with 75 per cent shares in the farmers’ names and 25 per cent was allocated to Bharat Forge. They claim the promised financial package to farmers was not given despite the fact that the firm was formed six years ago. The farmers fear that giving away SEZ land for the airport project will further delay development in the area.