Protest awaits Prime Minister Narendra Modi at JNPT

Oct 11, 2015, 11:15 IST | Ankoor Anvekar

Villagers whose land was taken in 1984 for developing the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Navi Mumbai still await promised land; hope to draw PM's attention to the issue today

Even as the Navi Mumbai police prepare security and traffic detail for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Sunday visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Navi Mumbai, locals are making their own not-so-nice preparations. The PM is slated to lay the foundation stone for the fourth container terminal at the port, estimated to cost Rs 8,000 crore.

Also read: Certificate from PM Modi just for show, feel JNPT PAPs

The site at the JNPT port where the fourth terminal will be built at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore
The site at the JNPT port where the fourth terminal will be built at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore

However, the project-affected people (PAP) are unhappy with the pending issue of the 12.5 per cent compensatory land scheme benefits, which they have been awaiting for over 30 years. More than 3,000 families residing around the present JNPT port are still waiting to get their hands on the compensatory land, which the state government had promised in 1984.

Dinesh Patil, President of JNPT Ekta Kamgar Sanghatan, said, “We, along with project affected villagers, will be demonstrating against the PM and will hold black flags in protest of the government’s failure to resolve our land allotment issue.”

In 1984, the state acquired over 2,987 hectares of land from 12 villages around Uran for the port. Last year in August, Modi had come to JNPT and handed over land allotment certificates to PAPs, near Funde village in Uran within a few months.

Further, the 111 hectares of land sanctioned for PAPs of JNPT near Funde falls under coastal regulatory zone and JNPT has not yet obtained permission to develop the land sanctioned. Earlier, speaking to SUNDAY mid-day, Neeraj Bansal, Deputy Chairman at JNPT, had claimed, “Most issues have been resolved. In the last six months the concerned ministry had three meetings.”

PM’s address cancelled
Port sources revealed that the PM was supposed to address a large crowd of his party workers on Sunday. However, it seems that after reports of the protest trickled in, the gathering was cancelled. This time, the media — barring a few public service broadcasters — has also been prohibited from the event.

Navi Mumbai preps up
The Navi Mumbai police has deployed a force of 1,000 officers for the event. Officers from the police department revealed that the force will be deployed around the port area. “City police will keep a vigil in their respective areas. There will be no traffic diversions on Sunday in Navi Mumbai,” said an official from the department.

While the PM will then head to Shivaji Park and then Dadar, the police refused to comment on security in the city. DCP Traffic (Headquarters) Panjabrao Ugale said, SK Bole Marg near Siddhivinayak temple in Prabhadevi will be diverted for a few minutes during the PM’s movement."

- With inputs from Ranjeet Jadhav

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