The situation was tense at Pargaon Memane village in Purandar taluka on Friday, a day after CM Devendra Fadnavis announced the upcoming international airport there. Purandar and seven other villages have passed resolutions opposing the airport in the area. On Friday, around 4,000 villagers gathered at Pargaon Memane to stage a protest.
Sarpanch of Pargaon Memane village, Bapu Memane, said the villages of Rajewadi, Amble, Waghapur, Pargaon Memane, Khanawadi, Munjawadi and Ikhatpur had passed resolutions declaring they would not give up “an inch of their land”. “We do not want the airport in Purandar. The dry and arid area of Purandar has just seen some vegetation in the last two years with some water lines. We do not want to destroy the farming activity here. Moreover, farmers do not have large tracts of land to give up for this project and there is no point having a one-time package,’’ said the sarpanch who has announced a march on October 13 to the district collectorate in Pune.
Another villager from Pargaon Memane, Nandu Memane, said around 10,000 people would march in silence to the Council Hall and submit their demands. State’s Water Resources Minister Vijay Shivtare, who is also the MLA Purandar, however, dismissed these protests as politically driven. “If the government gives a good deal, there should not be any issue,” he said. District Collector Saurabh Rao said villagers would be convinced about the project and there would be no forcible land acquisition.