For SEZ problems a solution in sight

Other than finding the going uphill in eking out a living, Kisan Yeole, a farmer who owns three acres of land in Karla has been struggling hard to raise money to get his two sisters married.

"We require at least three to four lakh rupees for the marriage and I will not be able to raise the money until I am able to mortgage portions of my land. However due to the fact that the 7/12 extract of my land has the entry of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) no bank or credit society is ready to give me a loan," he said.

Yeole fears that he, like many other farmers of the region, would fall prey to the vicious snare of private moneylenders and might end up losing his ancestral land.

The predicament of more than 2,000 farmers in eight villages of Maval and the village of Maan near Hinjewadi IT Park, can be understood as more than 1,500 hectare land has been notified by the state government for setting up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) there.

While the SEZ of Mahindra & Mahindra, set to come up near Karla was scrapped due to violent protests by farmers, the fate of Hinjewadi Phase IV set to come up in the village of Maan is in a limbo due to similar protests by farmers.

Back in 2006, the government had notified around 1,140 hectare of land for the proposed SEZ in Karla, while in the late 1990s, the notifications were made for Hinjewadi Phase IV in the village of Maan for around 465 hectare. Violent protests both in Maan and Karla by farmers had made land acquisition impossible in both cases. While in 2010, Mahindra had exited the memorandum of understanding (MoU) citing the protest, Hinjewadi Phase IV is caught in a deadlock.

... contd.

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