MUMBAI: Farmers from 49 villages of Igatpuri and Sinnar taluka of Nashik district on Saturday burnt copies of government rate cards for direct purchase of land for the Samruddhi Corridor and demanded that the project be scrapped.
After all other measures to acquire land for the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor project failed, the government on Friday initiated the process for the direct purchase of the land.
In step one of the process, Nashik collector B Radhakrishnan had released the rate card for direct purchase on Friday. According to it, the government has offered between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 85 lakh per hectare of non-irrigated land, while irrigated land would get double the compensation. The tribal land would get 1.5 times, Radhakrishnan had said and appealed to farmers to contact his office if they were ready to sell their land.
The farmers, however, rejected the rates and burnt down copies of the rate-card in protest at the Nashik District Collectorate on Saturday.
"By announcing the rates, the government is trying to divide the farmers. The rates are much below the market prices and effective rates would be much low considering the joint family system," said Raju Desle of Kisan Sabha.
Farmers from Shivade village, that is slated to lose some of the finest vineyards and over 150 acres of well-irrigated land, said that they won't part with their land even if the government offers Rs 2 crore per acre.
"This is yet another attempt by the government to snatch our land but we won't let it succeed. Farmers from Nashik district have already filed 31 petitions against the project in the High Court. We want the government to cancel the project or change the alignment for the district. If they don't we shall commit mass suicide," Raosaheb Harak from Shivade told the New Indian Express.