Don't want airport: Farmers

Published: 19 November, 2013 02:04 IST | Priyankka Deshpande |

Say they had given their lands believing that industries would be developed there

Ten members of Anti-Khed SEZ Airport and Anti-Khed Developers Limited Save Farmers Action Committee yesterday met deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, demanding return of 15 per cent of land meant for Pune international airport to farmers.

A promise made: Farmers say deputy CM Pawar has assured them that they would not be kept in the dark. File pic

The members, who are agriculturists from Nimgaon, Davadi, Kanersar, Gosasi and Kendur villages of Khed and Shirur talukas, have given their land for SEZ, where the airport would be established.

Speaking with MiD DAY, Kantaram Sonawane, a member of the committee and a farmer said that the they had given their lands for SEZ, considering that the industries would be developed on land under SEZ, which would give employment to the villagers.

“We don’t want an airport. How would it be useful to us? Instead of giving back 15 per cent of the land, Khed Developers Limited Company was formed with 75% shares in farmers’ name and 25% was allocated to Bharat Forge, the firm that is promoting the zone.

The financial package promised to the agriculturists has not been provided, despite the fact that the firm was formed six years ago,” Sonawane said.

According to Sonawane, deputy CM Pawar assured the farmers that they would not be kept in the dark. Pawar was in Khed for attending the inauguration ceremony of a newly- built power centre in Kanersar village of Khed taluka.

Pawar said that the employment opportunities would automatically increase, once an international airport is established, and therefore farmers should co-operate with the project.

Sonawane said that Pawar assured the farmers of a meeting with district collector Vikas Deshmukh, to discuss the matter of giving back the 15 per cent land.

The agriculturist added that farmers, who ‘lost’ their land because of the proposed airport, are protesting against the decision.

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