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Representatives of over 65 lakh people affected by various projects across Maharashtra would hold a day-long conference at a rehabilitated village in state’s Satara district on July 10. “The issue of rehabilitation of project affected people (PAP) in Maharashtra is too old and affects over 65 lakh people for over 50 years now. I realised the complexity of the issue when I helped the people of Boriv – a rehabilitated village in Satara district – to get notified as a Gram Panchayat and hence I decided to bring all such people on a single platform,” said Madhav Bhandari of Janajagar Pratishthan.
Janajagar Pratishthan is a forum mooted by Bhandari to raise issues related to rehabilitation. Bhandari, also the state BJP spokesperson, said that the conference would be an open platform for all. State Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil would attend the day-long conference at Boriv and is expected to expedite the process of rehabilitation, Bhandari said. A constructive dialogue is a better option than agitation to resolve issues. And this is the thing that we want to highlight through the conference, he said.
Around four decades ago, Boriv was displaced on account of Dhom reservoir in Satara and then rehabilitated. But it could not avail government schemes for rehabilitation, as many of them are routed through gram panchayats, he said. The administration had not constituted a panchayat when the village went for rehabilitation. There are 29 dams built in Satara district alone and all the projects have issues related to rehabilitation are pending till date, Bhandari said.
Konkan Railway project has over 49,000 PAPs whose issues are still pending while the widening of Mumbai-Goa highway has displaced around 20,000 people. Also, there are over 25,000 PAPs in Vidarbha who have lost their land and livelihood to power projects. Irrigation projects, power projects, highway projects, forestation projects and housing projects are the major ones that would be covered in this conference, he added.