DMIC is an Attack on Our Democratic Rights and Values as Enshrined in the Constitution
Karla, Lonavla, March 9: Mumbai- Delhi Corridor Virodhi Sangharsh Yatra on its second day joined the public meeting organised by Jagtikikaran Virodhi Kriti Samiti at Maangaon Taluka, Raigad District. The meeting was joined by Sarvahara Jan Andolan, Corridor Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM and other organisations.
Ulka Mahajan welcomed the yatra and said they fought Reliance SEZ and got it cancelled after years of struggle but now they are faced with a monstrosity called the DMIC. 9715 families of 69 villages in Maangaon, Roha and Tala Talukas have received notifications for land acquisition- a total of 24, 207 acres under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Act. The land required for it is under Dighi Industrial Area part of DMIC corridor. MIDC has already acquired 2000 hectares of land since 1985 at the rate of 20-25,000 Rs per acre, of which land has been given to Jindal, POSCO and others. There is no record of land utilised and unutilised with MIDC, in past fifty years it has acquired more than 13 lakh acres of land. The provision of MIDC Act is more draconian than Land Acquisition Act 1894, which leaves little scope for the consent of the affected population.
The current notifications issued to farmers are illegal since the isssuiing authority SDO does not have the power to issue notifications of land above the price of Rs. 50, 000. However, the current rate as per MIDCs own notification is Rs. 40 lakhs per acre. Sarvahara Jan Andolan vowed to challenge this forcible acquisition.
Addressing the meeting, Medha Patkar said that the purpose of the yatra is to bring together all the struggles in this massive region, since neither the people nor the democratically elected Gram Sabhas are aware of this monstrosity. What is at stake is the hard- earned freedom and democratic rights of the people, as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Forcible acquisition of land in the name of industrial city development will only lead to development of real estate and land grab, bringing not prosperity, but impoverishment.
NAPM Natioanl Convenor Suniti SR questions whether the Kathkari Adivasis of Raigad have benefitted, till date, from any of the numerous industries in the region. The Reliance SEZ, for which 1700 hectares of land was bought, has been cancelled, but the land is now up for sale for real estate. These projects only facilitate land grab from Adivasis, a glaring example being the Lavasa hill city project.
The Sangharsh Yatra later moved to Karla, Lonavla, where Ekvira Bachao Andolan welcomed it to Lonavla city. Yatris offered their respects by garlanding statues of Babasaheb Ambedkar, Jyotiba Phule, and Shivaji. Ekvira Bachao Andolan had fought against the Mahindra SEZ and achieved its cancellation, but the land again faces the threat of forcible acquisition, this time from the DMIC. In the words of Prasad Bagve, “SEZ has been cancelled but denotification notice is yet to be issued by the administration. Is this the democracy we live in?”
As we move ahead, talking about the project and planned destruction in the name of development, we see the yatra garnering more and more response. Overall, the DMIC area consists of 70% agricultural and 10% forest land, which contribute to 50% of food grain production in the country. Large scale acquisition in the 12 investment regions and 12 industrial areas will adversely affect the food grain production and put extra pressure on land, water and forest. Sentiments everywhere are the same, “we are not ready to move, we shall fight, we shall win!”
Lingraj Azad, Kamla Yadav, Anwari Bi, Sumit Wajale, Santosh Thakur, Milind Champanerkar, Yuvraj, Seela M and Madhuresh Kumar.
P.S: March 10- meetings at Malegaon, Dhule and Nandurbar