The implementation of the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor is expected to face further delays as Maharashtra water resources minister and Raigad district guardian minister Sunil Tatkare of the Nationalist Congress Party has requested Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to immediately stay land acquisition for the project.
“A large parcel of land has already been acquired for various projects in Raigad district. Seventy five thousand acres is needed for the DMIC project.
“However, land acquisition needs to be stayed especially in view of strong opposition from the locals,” Tatkare told Business Standard.
Tatkare referred to the Centre's decision to scrap the Dighi port development along the DMIC, following protests against the land acquisition.
The Dighi port industrial area project, spread over 270 sq km, was to house a number of manufacturing units and residential colonies.
However, Tatkare said he came across media reports on the state government's move to scale down the Dighi port project.
“A lot of confusion prevails among the farmers from Raigad district and therefore, the government should stay the acquisition of 75,000 acres of land for the DMIC project as a whole,” he noted.
Tatkare’s move comes close on the heels of burgeoning protest from opposition Shiv Sena and Peasants & Workers Party and from various non-governmental organisations.
The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project passes through Raigad and Maval parliamentary constituencies and Congress and the NCP are expected to exchange seats during the ensuing seat sharing talks.
The timing of Tatkare’s missive is important. On August 9, when Prithviraj Chavan took the review, it was decided to scale down the Dighi port project.
The state-run Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, which is the nodal agency for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project passing through the state, has already communicated to the government that acquisition of 75,000 acres of land looks impractical.
Even though the project can be scaled down, it needs contiguous land.
A government official said the government has not yet lost hope but was prepared to negotiate with the villagers and parties opposing the land acquisition and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project in general.
However, the official informed that at Shendre near Aurangabad in Marathwada region, 175 hectares of land has already been acquired for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project.
A total of 2,500 hectares is required for an industrial centre and an exhibition-cum-convention centre.