Mumbai SEZ promoters including Reliance file petition opposing defacto referendum

September 18th, 2008 - 5:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Mumbai, Sep 18 (ANI): Promoters of the Mumbai Special Economic Zone (SEZ), including Reliance India Limited, have filed a petition in the Bombay High Court opposing Maharashtra Governments decision to hold a defacto referendum on the project.

The Mumbai SEZ is slated to come up in the neighbouring Raigad District.

The Raigad District Collector had last month issued a notice asking the landowners in the 22 affected villages to record their statements regarding their consent for the land acquisition.

These villages are situated in Pen taluka of Raigad District. The promoters petition said the move is a result of pressure from local politicians to oppose the SEZ.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing this week.

About 4,000 landowners in 22 villages near Mumbai will decide the fate of Reliance groups proposed Mumbai Special Economic Zone (MSEZ).

Raigad district will hold a referendum on September 21 to ask villagers whether they wish to part with their land for the 5,000-acre project.

This is Indias first-ever such exercise and is scheduled even as Singur stays on edge over the land acquisition for Tata Motors Nano plant.

Despite the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance offering relief packages, the 22 villages in Pen want to continue farming rice. They say the near-complete Rs 360-crore Hetavane dam will soon solve their irrigation problems.

Futher, the villagers say the Rs 10 lakh per acre offered by Reliance is lower than the market rate, Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh per acre.

Ulka Mahajan, of the Shoshit Jan Andolan, said the the villagers want to keep their land for farming. (ANI)

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