Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mopa to be another Singur, say the displaced

Mopa: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the Rs 3300 cr Mopa International Greenfield airport but little does he know of the plight of the farmers, whose land has been forcibly acquired against their wishes.
Ever since the past government (Congress alliance) announced the Mopa airport project the farmers have been up in arms saying the land is their livelihood.
To placate them the government announced additional compensation which is four times the original award. However, till date not even 50 per cent of the people have accepted the compensation, say villagers.
The State government has already signed the concession agreement with GMR International Airports Ltd, and seems set to have the foundation stone for the airport laid by the Prime Minister on November 13. But the villagers feel cheated and say they will not allow the project at any cost.
Come what may we will not allow the airport to come up. Mopa will be another Singur. This is do-or-die for the farmers,” said Sandeep Kambli, secretary Mopa Vimantol Piditt Xettkari Saunstha, speaking to Herald.
Kambli rejected the claim that farmers have accepted the compensation saying not even 50 percent have taken it. “The land rate right now around Mopa is Rs 4500 to Rs 5000 and the government is paying us peanuts. Even with four times compensation the amount is a maximum Rs 100 to Rs 150 per sq metre, can you compare this with present market rate?” he asked.
Kambli also questioned why the government is unwilling to bring the Prime Minister to Mopa for inauguration. “This is because they want to hide the reality from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hence they are laying the foundation stone elsewhere,” he alleged.
13/11/16 Suraj Nandrekar/Herald