Mumbai-Goa highway widening work begins
PANVEL: The demolition of the structures along the Palaspa Phata-Kalhe gaon section of the Mumbai-Goa highway began on Thursday. The eight-day drive is being opposed by some locals who are demanding better compensation and are also alleging irregularities in valuations.
The drive initiated by the Raigad collector office and NHAI is part of the clearance of structures from Palaspe Phata to Indapur to increase the number of lanes on the highway.
A total of five commercial structures including the very popular Datta Snacks located on the Palaspa Phata junction were demolished on Thursday. Raigad deputy collector Nidhi Choudhary and Panvel tehsildar Deepak Akde were present during the demolition.
“A total of 75 structures will be demolished in the next eight days to facilitate the expansion of the highway. Around 65 families comprising of a total of around 250 people will be affected by it,” said Akde.
Akde added that the highway will be expanded to six lanes on each side and will also have a service road apart from facilities like e-toilets.
The locals were informed of the demolition action on November 30 through announcements on a loudspeaker in an autorickshaw.
The villagers in Palaspa have submitted a memorandum of demands to the Panvel police station and the tehsildar office on the issue.
Paresh Gharat, a resident, said, “We have not been given any intimation or official notice by any government department of the demolition action. We just heard it on the loudspeaker a couple of days back.”
Gharat said there has been corruption in the valuation of the houses with different compensations being given to different people. Jaydev Bhonkar, another resident, added, “We have been given compensation as per the old government rates. When the airport PAP are being given such huge compensation, why are we being denied our due?”
The locals said that they planned to agitate if required in the coming days.
Naib tehsildar B. T. Gosavi said, “We have forwarded the objections of the locals to the collector office.”
Heaps of debris plied along the Mumbai-Goa highway after structures were demolished at Panvel.