In a yet another setback for Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis’s dream project – Samruddhi Corridor, nearly 92 farmers from Sinnar Tehsil, Nasik have approached the Bombay High Court against the project. The farmers have filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the government to drop the land acquisition of the farmers.
The farmers have dragged CM Fadnavis and his government to the courts, claiming that the project will deprive them of their land, livelihood and shelter. The project requires the government to acquire lands of farmers from nearly 12 districts and 300 villages. The farmers have claimed that this project is contrary to the provisions of ‘Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency’ in the Land Acquisition (Rehabilitation, and Resettlement) Act 2013.
In their petition the farmers have stated, “The development of the Super Expressway in the area where the land of farmers are situated will bring substantial damages in the existing land use pattern. This is because the land acquired for the purpose is predominantly agricultural that too about 84 per cent length of the proposed expressway passes through cultivated land or agricultural land.”
“There is need for diversion of the Super Expressway so as to avoid destruction of the cultivable agricultural lands and will also be contrary to the provisions of the law. The alignment of the proposed project passes through plain and agricultural areas, the soil of which is very fertile and suitable for growing cereals and pulses,” the petition reads.
Citing legal flaws in the government’s decision, the farmers have contended that as per the new Land Acquisition Act, it is mandatory for the government to acquire the land for public purpose only after consulting the concerned Panchayat or local bodies which are going to be affected. However, the government has not consulted any of the local bodies of the 300 villages and have decided to go ahead and acquire their lands.
The farmers have also sought directions to the government to consider using the existing Ghoti- Sinnar Road for the development of Nagpur – Mumbai Super Communication Express Way, as it is parallel to the project.