No jobs, no talks, land owners tell CIDCO

Project Affected People (PAP) threaten to boycott negotiations with CIDCO until it hires all the seven rejected PAP candidates; planning a rally outside CIDCO Bhavan on Thursday
The ambitious Navi Mumbai international airport seems to have hit yet another roadblock. It has been learnt that the Project Affected People (PAP) of Navi Mumbai have boycotted the negotiation process with the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (CIDCO) over the land acquisition, further adding to the project's delay. According to the PAPs, the reason they boycotted the negotiations was because the developmental body failed to hire a single PAP as an engineer. Moreover, these PAPs have received support from the airport project affected people as well.

Stalled again? The CIDCO site for the proposed airport that spans
across 18 villages. The PAPs, whose land had been acquired for the
project, had demanded a whopping Rs 20 crore per acre from CIDCO.

The cause
A month ago, the Navi Mumbai PAPs, whose land had been acquired for the project had demanded a whopping Rs 20 crore per acre from CIDCO. However, post negotiations, both the parties had reached a consensus over the compensation package.  Simultaneously, CIDCO started recruitment process for around 50 engineers, wherein seven of the candidates selected, belonged to the PAP category. However, all the candidates were rejected after their final interviews, resulting in boycotting the negotiation process by the PAPs. In addition, to express their anger, the PAPs have planned a rally at CIDCO Bhavan on Thursday.

Support system
R C Gharat, representative of the airport project affected people, said, "This is a clear case of injustice. How could all the seven candidates be rejected by CIDCO, when they have the qualification and potential for the job? It has been clearly mentioned that PAPs should be given priority in any recruitment drive undertaken by  CIDCO. However, they have failed to do so." Gharat is also the president of Raigad district Congress.

"If CIDCO is not accepting such a small demand now, we doubt it will entertain us after the completion of the airport. If we do not protest now, we won't get fair compensation for our land. Hence, we'll be participating in the protest and won't start negotiations until CIDCO recruits all the PAP candidates."

According to CIDCO officials, neither the protest, nor the boycott will hamper the progress of the airport. Talking to MiD DAY, Tanaji Satre, managing director of CIDCO, said, "We are working over the issue to find a solution. We are bound to give the PAPs fair compensation and we are hoping that the negotiations for the airport land will resume in the next few days. The protest and boycott will not affect the ongoing work."

The boycott
CIDCO is supposed to acquire 1,000 acres of land for the proposed airport that spans across 18 villages. However, the PAPs from these affected villages have decided to stall the negotiation process until all the seven PAP candidates are hired by CIDCO.

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