The project-affected villagers of NAINA have launched a chain protest against CIDCO, to oppose the policies of the scheme. The Panvel taluka villagers who want the scheme cancelled have initiated a chain bandh with one of the 23 affected villages shutting down every day.
The protest will culminate with a rally to Mantralaya. The villagers are opposing the land pooling scheme wherein CIDCO does not have to pay any compensation.
CIDCO as a special planning authority (SPA) is implementing a sanctioned Interim Development Plan for 23 villages of Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) with 11 Town Planning Schemes (TPS).
Under the scheme, CIDCO gets to keep 60% of the pooled land on which it will develop modern infrastructure, while the land owners will get 40% freehold land with 2.5 FSI.
The `Gaon bandh’ protest called by NAINA Prakalp Badhit Shetkari Utkarsh Samiti began on February 12 with Sukapur village observing a complete bandh, followed by Adai on February 13 and Vihighar on February 14. It will be Vichumbe today.
The bandhs have been very successful so far with not just shops but also autorickshaws and other transport not plying and the residents coming out in support of the protest.
Said former MLC Balaram Patil of Peasants and Workers Party, “Over 270 villages in Navi Mumbai, Panvel and Uran have been notified as airport-affected villages. CIDCO is not investing a single rupee to acquire the land of the villagers to develop a planned city here. It wants to make huge profits from the land of the villagers.”
He alleged, “It is a ploy to take over the land from the owners permanently and leave the villagers in the lurch. By shutting down one village every day we want to send a strong message to CIDCO.”
Explaining the reason for the bandh protest, Patil stated, “We want to expose this scheme. We want to create awareness amongst the villagers on CIDCO’s plans to fill its coffer at the cost of the villagers.”
Informed former Panvel municipal council president J M Mahtre, “During the bandh we are holding meetings in the respective villages discussing the scheme and how it will adversely affect us all.”
He added, “To avoid problems to the villagers, we are ensuring that the essential items are sold till 9 am. The shops all remain closed throughout the day during which the meetings are held.”
Said samiti president Waman Shelke, “We shall ensure that no injustice is done to the villagers and the plot owners. CIDCO is taking 60% of the land free from the villagers which is injustice.”
He added, “We shall not accept this dictatorship. We shall fight till every stakeholder gets justice. The entire Panvel taluka is supporting the bandh.”
Advocate Suresh Thakur, a samiti leader said, “Around 42% of land in the region, as per the impact assessment report is multi-crop land. Farmers will lose their livelihood permanently for just 40% of the land. How can this be acceptable?”
Rajesh Keni, a local leader of Sukapur said, “The bandh in our area was 100% just as it is succeeding in the other villages. Everyone realizes that NAINA policies will take the lives of the people.”
He warned, “We have observed the bandh peacefully so far. We will not think twice to intensify our agitation if required in the future. This is just the beginning. All the villagers will take to the streets.”
CIDCO did not respond to requests for comments on the protest.
NAINA and the CIDCO plan
The Government of Maharashtra, with the purpose of the planned development of the surrounding area of Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), appointed CIDCO as Special Planning Authority (SPA) vide the notification dated 10/01/2013 for NAINA project comprising 256 villages of Raigad District and 14 villages of Thane District encompassing about 560 sq.kms. Later, with the appointment of MSRDC as SPA for few villages vide the Government Notifications, the scope of NAINA Project has been now limited to 224 villages encompassing 474 Sq.kms. CIDCO with the advice of GoM has decided to implement the project through Town Planning Schemes (TPS).
CIDCO has proposed the development of NAINA on 372 sq. km. of land from 174 villages of Thane and Raigad districts. The project is based on the principle of land consolidation.
The development of 23 of these villages mentioned in the layout of the approved Interim Development Plan will be done through 11 Town Development Plans (TDP). Land owners coming under town development plans will get 40% developed plot from their original land at 2.5 FSI. CIDCO will develop roads, playground, schools, gardens, growth centres, etc. facilities over the remaining 60% land. Land owners will get 40% of their land, even if the land is affected by any reservation.
This development aims to develop a sustainable city with residential, commercial, educational, and all other basic civic facilities.
CIDCO is developing dedicated sectors like Medi City, Sports city, edu city, Research and Development zone, Eco-tourism, Entertainment, etc. This will attract national and international investments in the city. The city will be connected with the help of highways, suburban railways, and the metro. This will facilitate the growth and development of business and economic projects in the NAINA area. In order to help the future development of the NAINA area, guidelines from the UDCPR are being adopted to facilitate the ease of doing business in the area.