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Farmers to file petition in HC

The Anti-Khed SEZ Airport and Anti-Khed Developers Limited Save Farmers Action Committee will file a petition in Bombay High Court against the state government’s decision of changing the purpose of utilisation of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) land in Khed, where Pune’s first international airport is set to be developed.


No-fly zone: Villagers of Khed taluka protested against the proposed international airport at Rajgurunagar yesterday

The committee yesterday protested against the government’s resolution, after meeting deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Monday, asking him to look into the matter, and demanding that 15 per cent of the lands — that they had given up for the SEZ — be returned.

“We will likely file a petition in Bombay HC next week, along with a proposal approved by gram sabhas of Nimgaon, Davadi, Kanersar, Gosasi and Kendur villages of Khed and Shirur talukas,” said BG Kolse Patil, former judge of the high court, who was leading the demonstration in Rajgurunagar.

He added that the farmers from these five villages tendered their land, as the state government had assured them that the estates would be reserved for SEZ. Kolse Patil said that the administration had also promised to develop industries on the land, which would lead to employment generation.

“The government, however, suddenly changed the objective of the utilisation of the land, and gave a nod to the international airport, which is not acceptable,” Kolse Patil said.

Meanwhile, several ministers from the state have been assuring the farmers that they would be compensated for their land in accordance with the new land acquisition act.

While addressing the media during his recent visit to the city, state minister for tribal affairs Madhukar Pichad had said that according to guidelines of the land acquisition Act, the farmers would get higher payment – four times what the market offers.

“If the politicians are interested in implementing the new land acquisition Act in this case, then I would like to remind them that the Act also says that before confiscating the land, the approval of minimum 80 per cent of the farmers is needed,” Kolse Patil opined.

He added that the matter of consent would be a key feature of the committee’s petition to Bombay HC.¬†Apart from this, a decision was also taken to not surrender the land to the government for constructing the international airport, informed Kolse Patil.¬†

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