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Govt,Navi Mumbai villagers fail to agree on acquisition terms

A long overdue meeting of landowners in seven villages that will be displaced by the proposed Navi Mumbai airport with state government officials and local elected representatives ended in a deadlock with the villagers refusing to accept the government’s terms.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: July 31, 2012 6:46:40 am

A long overdue meeting of landowners in seven villages that will be displaced by the proposed Navi Mumbai airport with state government officials and local elected representatives ended in a deadlock with the villagers refusing to accept the government’s terms.

The government offered developed land to the extent of 22 per cent of whatever land they give up. The villagers’ demand was either 40 per cent developed land without a monetary payout,or a mind-boggling Rs 20 crore per acre.

“We are hopeful and positive,” said Congress MLA from Panvel Prashant Thakur who was present at the meeting chaired by Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development department) T C Benjamin.

“We hope that CIDCO will revise its offer upward and that may be agreeable to the project-affected people.” The villagers are set to meet on August 1 to plan their negotiation,while another meeting with CIDCO is scheduled for August 3. Pandharinath Keni,president of the Navi Mumbai International Airport Project Affected People Committee,said the government also made a request to initiate joint measurement of the area.

Villagers have since last September prevented any measurement until mutually agreeable terms are finalised. “We cannot take the decision on our own. We will meet the other villagers in a couple of days and will place the government proposal before them,” said Keni.

CIDCO has been negotiating with private landowners for several months,with little progress.

Officials said that while a percentage of acquired land would be given as compensation,this would be “developed” land with access to roads,electricity and other amenities.

The government’s earlier promise of 12.5 per cent developed land for villagers who gave land to CIDCO in 1976 was also discussed at Monday’s meeting – several of those villagers are yet to be compensated.

Thakur said a final compensation policy from CIDCO too is awaited,including tackling the problems of a section of affected villagers who are cultivating land but are not land owners. The first phase of the airport is scheduled to be ready by 2015 and will eventually occupy 2,020 hectares. Of this,1,160 hectares is for the airport and the remaining for infrastructure and amenities. Nearly 20 per cent of the total land is yet to be acquired.

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