Yatra gets hearty welcome in Dhule: struggle against land acquisition intensifies
Narendra Ch | 12 Mar 2013

The ongoing Mumbai- Delhi Corridor Virodhi Sangharsh Yatra against the Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor reached Khandesh, North Maharashtra, after crossing the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The yatra, under the aegis of NAPM (National Alliance of People’s Movements), consists of yatris from ten different states. The yatris started off on foot from Karla SEZ area, Lonavla late at night to reach Malegaon in the morning, where they were welcomed by their comrades from Rashtriya Seva Dal.

The first halt of the yatra was at Jodge, where 3600 hectares of land of five villages have been given notice under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Act (MIDA). A population of 30, 000 villagers in Jodge, Jayuk, Chicharovar, Sayane BK and Sayane SH villages have been given notice. The villagers have rejected the entire project. They say that they are against forceful acquisition of land without a stated reason and without the consent of gram sabhas under MIDA, especially since MIDA already has possession of prior acquired land. The yatra then reached Dhule city, after giving support to the struggle of these people, and promising to connect their struggle to the one underway at the national level.

Shyam Patil gave all the yatris were given a warm welcome at Rashtrabhasha Bhavan, and also gave out additional information about the Dhule- Nardana Industrial Area. He said that MIDC has completed the formalities under clause 32 (1) and (2) for acquisition of 634 hectares of land in Malich, Gorne, Baghode, Menane and other villagers, despite a textile industrial area already in function in the region.

Suresh Desle of Maliv Village said that the people who had lost their land earlier are yet to get their due, and now fresh notices have been give out to villages with dual crop farmland. He had discussed the gram sabha’s proposal in this regard not only with the Collector, but also with the secretary and minister. However, no conclusion has been reached till date, and the sword of acquisition still hovers over their heads.  A small committee has also been formed with the support of local farmers there.

The next meeting was at Sonegaon, with the gram panchayat and villagers. While the land there is also under threat under the Dhule Bardhana Industrial Area, the process of acquisition hasn’t begun yet. The people there allege that the collector has given away 43 acres of land, which elongs to to the gram panchayat, to the Dhule- Itarsi Wiring Company without any legal investigation or gram sabha consent. Such behaviour is entirely illegal.

After conducting large public conferences in Dondika and Sakri, the yatra moved on to its next stop. A frightening image of MIDC was evident at every step throughout the yatra. 17 lakh acres of land have been acquired for industrial purposes in Maharashtra, from the Konkan, Marathwada and Khandesh to Vidarbha in the last fifty years. People across different regions have expressed their anger at DMIC, and are all set to intensify their protest.