Farmers from Marathwada and Vidarbha too oppose Samriddhi Corridor

In Sindkhedraja of Buldana district in Vidarbha, people complained of false promises and coercion by government officials to get their consent for land measurement.

Published: 05th June 2017 06:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2017 03:31 PM   |  A+A-

Farmers protest in Kenvad of Vashim district in Vidarbha | Express

Express News Service

AMARAVATI: Contrary to popular perception that the opposition to the Samruddhi Corridor is limited only to certain areas in Thane, Nashik and Ahmednagar districts, farmers from Marathwada and Vidarbha too are opposing it.

"The very first voices against the corridor originated from Shahapur in Thane diatrict. The next fierce opposition to it was seen in Nashik and Ahmednagar districts. This helped government agencies create an impression that there is hardly any opposition to the corridor in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. But the ground reality is different. A majority of farmers from Marathwada and Vidarbha whose land holding is low feel cheated and are opposing the corridor," said Appa Kullarni from Nhave village in Jalna district.

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He coordinates protests against the Samriddhi Corridor in the area. Varud in Jalna district of Marathwada is exactly at the centre of the proposed corridor.

A water tank in the courtyard of Krishna Mhase's house bears the mark to denote this. It also means that his house and around six acres of land where he has developed a vineyard would be removed for the corridor.

Krishna Mhase of Varud in Jalna district with the newly installed solar pump at his vineyard. | Express

Of 800 acres of vineyards in Varud, almost 600 acres would be lost this way. The same is the case with the neighbouring villages of Kadvanchi and Nhava that grow grapes over 1,400 acres of land. "We earn about Rs 12 lakh per acre every year. When we asked the collector at a meeting whether this loss would be compensated we did not get a proper response," Krishna Mhase told The New Indian Express.

In Sindkhedraja of Buldana district in Vidarbha, people complained of false promises and coercion by government officials to get their consent for land measurement. "We want them to conduct remeasurement to prove that our allegations are wrong," said Dilip Kolhe, a farmer who is expected to lose 3.5 acres of his land.

Sadanand Waghmare of Hivarkhed Purni in Buldana district has filed a petition against the irregularities in land measurement procedures before the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court. "The public procecutor skipped past four dates of hearing," he said, adding that none of his letters addressed to officials, including those of the Chief Minister's Office, have been answered.

Vardali village near Dusarbeed on the Aurangabad-Nagpur highway is slated to lose as many as 200 wells and 1,200 acres of irrigated land under it to the Samruddhi Corridor.

The village has only 40 families, all of whom would be rendered homeless with no means of livelihood. Kunda Wagh, who grows vegetables and sells them to the local market everyday, was in tears as she spoke about what she felt when officials came to their village to conduct land measurement. Opposition to land acquisition for the Samruddhi Corridor has grown fierce in Washim district of Vidarbha.

In Dongaon, farmers have adopted a policy of complete non-cooperation with the government. "The collector had threatened me in front of 500 farmers from the district. Ever since, we have adopted a policy of complete non-cooperation with government officials. We don't attend any meetings, don't respond to their communication and don't go to them with any demands," he said.

Prabhakar Bajal from the neighbouring village of Kenvad had symbolically climbed a funeral pyre to protest the alleged high-handedness of government officials. Another farmer Parshuram Vankhede said his younger brother's engagement had to be cancelled after the girl's relatives learnt that the Vankhede family will lose seven of nine acres of their land to the corridor. "I challenge the government officers to show my consent letter. They have cheated us," he said.

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