Nanded industrial estate plan faces local resistance

Rahul Wadke Recently in Nanded | Updated on February 16, 2011 Published on February 16, 2011

Martala Sarpanch Mr Madhav Dhepe says, “Only jobs for our boys would be as peons or casual labourers. We don’t want such development.” Photo by: Shashi Ashiwal   -  Business Line

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is planning to set up a 2,100 acre industrial estate at Martala and three neighbouring villages near Nanded in Maharashtra. Several global firms, including Tata Steel have shown interest in setting up a unit at the site, a State Government official said.

But the plan is set to see stiff resistance from local farmers unwilling to give up their fertile land, even planning for large-scale agitation against the land acquisition process.

Land from villages of Martala, Khumbhargaon, Kapsi-Budruk and Kapsi-Khurd would be acquired for the estate. From Martala about 901 acres of land would be acquired, which will make 90 per cent of the farmers landless in that village.

Cash-crops like cotton, wheat, turmeric and soybean are extensively cultivated in this area. The black soil is most conducive for cotton cultivation that fetches a good price in the international market.

In fact, Martala Sarpanch (village head), Mr Madhav Dhepe told Business Line that MIDC is offering about Rs 80,000 per acre as compensation, while the market rate is Rs 20 lakh per acre “Boys in our village are educated till High School but MIDC requires educated work-force. Only jobs for our boys would be as peons or casual labourers. We don’t want such development,” he said.

Another local farmer, Mr Dadarao Yede, who owns 20 acres of land, said that some years ago farmers would have sold their land to MIDC, as they were not getting good income from their farms. But today the situation has changed, “We are getting good rates for cotton. My earlier yield per acre was 300 kg but today it has increased to about 800 kg due to better variety of cotton seeds. Today the villagers have an annual income of Rs 1 to Rs 1.5 lakh per acre,” he said.

MIDC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr K Shivaji said, the process of talking to villagers for land acquisition is underway at Martala, “About 2,100 acres of land has been identified at Martala, even Tata Steel has show some interest in setting up a project there. People would be taken into confidence for setting up the estate. Irrigated land would not be procured by MIDC for the project, he said.

In fact, Tata Steel’s Vice-President Mr P. Sengupta had indicated at the recent “Nanded Ahead – investor meet”, that the company is considering setting up a steel plant at Nanded, provided land is made available by the MIDC.

Mr Harshad Shah, Executive Director of Nanded Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, Martala is a good site for a company like Tata Steel to set up its steel plant. Since power, water, road and rail connectivity is available at the site, “With the help of Railways they would, easily be able to procure coal and iron from Gadchiroli and Chandrapur district, which is about 400 kilometres away from Nanded,” he said.

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Published on February 16, 2011
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