Allow us to develop prime Karave plot, say villagers
87-acre earmarked for regional park but builders eye farmers’ land
NERUL: An 87-acre stretch of land in Karave along the Palm Beach Road, which has been earmarked for a park, is currently a muchcoveted spot for developers.
Owing to its prime location, the land is in demand among developers but development work is not allowed on the land, belonging to local farmers, as it has been earmarked for a regional park and as a green zone.
The local villagers have realised the potential of the area and are demanding a permit for development from the chief minister.
Last week, Chandrakant Tandel, president of Agri Kala and Sanskriti Santha, Navi Mumbai, made the demand on behalf of the villagers in a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The state government had acquired all land of farmers residing in 95 villages of Thane, Uran and Panvel for the development of Navi Mumbai. However, the 87-acre land in Karave had not been acquired.
Earlier, some houses of villagers and a small temple of the villagers were demolished by City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) as they were illegal.
Villagers still farm on the land and fish in a holding pond.
Several buildings, including the NRI complex, were constructed near the area but no development has taken place on this stretch of the land. The farmers, too, do not have permission to construct their own homes.
Sources said the developers are luring farmers to sell the land at throwaway prices by telling them that the government will seize the land and not pay them.
“Cidco had earlier taken away the land at dirt cheap prices and issues such as rehabilitation have been pending for years. Under such circumstances, we should be allowed to develop the land that belongs to us,” said local corporator Vinod Mhatre. “There is a demand that the reservation for a regional park in the area be lifted.”
“The land should be acquired by Cidco and the farmers should be compensated on the lines of the airport or they should be paid the market price of the land,” said Mhatre.
Corporator Ganesh Mhatre said, “In Navi Mumbai, only Karave villagers have land in their name. The government is planning to take over the land and develop a regional park. But, if the government wants the land it should compensate the villagers adequately or give developmental permission.”