Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Villagers, MIAL battle it out over Sahar road

Mumbai: The long standing battle between residents of Suttar Pakhadi village in Sahar and Mumbai International Airport (P) Ltd (MIAL) took an ugly turn on Tuesday. Residents objected to MIAL’s alleged forcible blocking of a 100-year-old gaothan road, and the seizing of a playground in the area.

Around 11.30 am, MIAL officials and police officials began to dismantle and remove the tin barricade wall erected by villagers along a part of the new road MIAL had constructed in Sahar’s Sutar Pakahadi gaothan. Villagers alleged the MIAL officials were accompanied by around 50 bouncers.
MIAL, along with the police, tried to block villagers’ access to a 100-year-old gaothan road that passes through a playground plot in the area.

“There was a village road between the plot and the airport land. The old village road, which was 100 years old, has been forcibly taken away by putting up tin sheets on both sides of the plot. Villagers cannot use that road. MIAL has made an alternative road, only 4m wide, which they want villagers to use. In the MMRDA’s entire interim draft plan, not a single road is under 9.15-m wide. These are strong-arm tactics used by MIAL to prevent gaothans from being developed in the future,” said Nicholas Almedia, a villager who was detained by Vile Parle police.

On May 8, four villagers were issued a notice by Vile Parle station warning them not create a law and order situation. Similar notices not to disturb the peace were also issued to MIAL officials.
17/05/17 Linah Baliga/Mumbai Mirror