Pune: About 2,000 villagers from seven different villages in Purandar taluka held a four-hour meeting on Monday in Pargaon village, near Pareshwar temple, to protest against the ongoing planning of developing Purandar airport in Purandar village. The farmers have decided to oppose the project in full force.
About 2,376 hectares of land are required for the airport, of which only 200 hectares are available with the government. The remaining land has to be acquired from farmers of seven villages, including Ekhatpur, Munjvadi, Kumbharvalan, Vanpuri, Udachiwadi, Khanvadi and Patharwadi.
The farmers gathered at about 8.30 am and the meet went on till 12.30 pm.
Speaking about the gram sabha meet, Jitendra Memane, a farmer from Purandar said that the authorities have chosen to remain tightlipped till now and so, they chose to discuss the problems with themselves. “If the authorities are not accepting gram sabha as a democratic body, we demand to dissolve the gram sabha. Similarly, a unanimous decision was taken to oppose the airport project. It is better to commit suicide than to fall prey to the plans of this government, which is trying to snatch our livelihood,” added Memane.
The Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited (MADC) and Pune District Collectorate officials are in talks with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to decide the model of land acquisition to be adopted while acquiring land for the airport from the farmers. Datta Zurange, another protestor, assured to be a part of the protest.
Head of Maharashtra Shetkari Sena, Babaraje Jadhav. said that the government is trying to solve problems of rich people by penalising poor farmers.
The protesting farmers demanded a representation from authorities and have assured that they will protest through legal ways. “All decisions are taking place at the top level and farmers continue to be in the dark,” added Memane.