Navi Mumbai: PM inaugurates new JNPT terminal, Sena joins protest

Local villagers and various political parties, including the Shiv Sena, protested against the upcoming fourth container terminal; Modi remained silent on the fate of the project affected people, further angering the protesting crowd

The rift between the parties in the ruling alliance seems to be getting worse by the day. Yesterday, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was busy inaugurating the new terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), the local villagers led by Shiv Sena were protesting against it.

Villagers and political parties protest against the laying of the foundation stone for the new terminal at JNPTVillagers and political parties protest against the laying of the foundation stone for the new terminal at JNPT

Modi chose to stay silent on the fate of the project affected people (PAP) while villagers protested against the laying of the foundation stone near the venue at Karal Phata near JNPT. The port of Singapore has been awarded the approximately Rs 8,000 crore worth terminal project that will be completed in two phases by the end of 2017.

Speaking to mid-day, villagers revealed that in coming days, they are now planning to stall the work of the upcoming fourth container terminal at the port. Hundreds of villagers and a few local politicians from various parties had gathered at Karal Phata since yesterday afternoon and waved black flags and shouted slogans at the prime minister.

They were shouting slogans against the new government for its incapability to resolve the long-pending issues of PAP. Dinesh Patil, president, JNPT Ekta Kamgar Sanghatan (a union for villagers who work in JNPT), said, “Several political parties including MNS, Shiv Sena and Shekap accompanied us in the protest. We feel we have become successful in our motive as the prime minister did not speak any word on our issues. Our protest on Sunday was just a start and we will continue to fight for our long-pending rights.”

Villagers further revealed that since the prime minister remained silent on the issue and did not pay attention to it, they would disturb the ongoing work for the fourth container terminal in coming days. Kamlakar Darne, a villager, said, “On Sunday we demonstrated with black flags to express our displeasure over the delay in allotting compensatory land. Even though the prime minister chose to stay silent on our issues, we will continue our protest. We are planning to stall the work of the upcoming fourth container terminal at the port.”

On Sunday, Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the fourth terminal, but did not speak anything on the project, and neither did he speak on the pending land issues. The entire event got over within minutes after the PM landed at JNPT. The project is said to double the cargo handling capacity of the port to 10 million standard units from the present 4.5 million standard units.

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