Pune: The villagers from Kumbharvalan, Pargao, Khanavdi, Munjavdi, Ekhatpur, Vanpuri and Udachiwadi gathered for a sit-in protest outside the District Collectorate on Wednesday. The land in these villages is to be acquired for the proposed International Airport at Purandar. The villagers from these seven villages submitted a letter to District Collector Saurabh Rao saying that they will not give up their agricultural land for the airport.
Farmers and several women from these villages gathered in large numbers for the protest. The villagers said that due to the recently launched Purandar Pump Irrigation scheme, the land in these villages has become irrigated and cultivable. “If the land is given for the airport, our future generations will be pushed into darkness, which is why we will not lend our lands for the airport,” said a villager.
They added, “The district administration has falsely claimed that 70 pc villagers support the airport. The truth is that the airport is being forced upon us without taking us into confidence. Only 2 pc of elites from Pune city use air travel as a mode of transport and for their luxury, why are our homes being razed?”
The villagers raised slogans against the MLA from Purandar and current Water and Water Resources Minister Vijay Shivtare. The protest committee was headed by Dattatray Zurange along with Amol Kamthe, Santosh Hagavne, Laxman Boravake, Manesh Hole, and Dattatray Memane. There was tight police security during the protest.