120-ft wide road to pass through Maval, villagers unimpressed

Family of one of the firing victims

The plan to construct a 120-foot-wide road snaking through about 12 villages of Maval, to connect the Baur MIDC area to the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, is bringing no cheer for villagers. The road on a map, the "Pune 10 kilometre Fringe Area Road Network Plan', passes through the villages of Moreshwar Sathe and Shyam Tupe, two of the three who died in the firing on August 9 during an agitation against a water pipeline project.

The people of Maval had given away land for the Pavana dam in the 70s and the Expressway in the late 90s.

The map released by the Pune division of the Town Planning Department in the beginning of this year shows a 120-ft-wide road from Baur Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area joining the Pune-Mumbai Expressway at Somatane. The map differentiates this road as 'sanctioned' from others that are 'proposed' and shows the road through Somatane, Parandwadi, Urse, Aade, Shivne, Ozarde, Sadavali, Pimpalkhute and four other villages. On August 9, Sathe of Shivne village and Tupe of Sadavali, died after police opened fire on people agitating against the proposed water pipeline from Pavana Dam, after they reportedly turned violent. Kantabai Thakar (40) of Yelse was the third villager who died.

Sources with the department said the work on the road project is slated to start sometime next year.

Vasant Bharade, a resident of Shivne, says, "It seems whatever the government does, we are at a loss. What's worse, the government never cares to compensate for the losses. We are tired of repeating that we lost land to the Pavana Dam in the 70s and the Expressway in the late 90s. We know powerful politicians are behind this. Why do they need a 120-ft-wide road in the area?"

"The government is also planning to take away our water by laying down a pipeline instead of a canal. They want us to leave this place so that they can convert this area into a city. We will be displaced without getting proper compensation," said Sadavali sarpanch Shankar Deshmukh.

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