The ambitious Wadala-Kasarwadavli metro IV project may face delay in execution thanks to the uncertainty over ownership of the land assigned to it for developing a casting yard, which is a crucial part for executing the project.
Sources from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) that is executing the Rs 19,000 crore metro project said, they have been assigned around 24 acres land in Waghbil village from the Thane revenue department for developing a casting yard. The facility will be used to manufacture roughly 500 odd girders required for installing piers for metro trains to run.
The MMRDA claims the land that has been assigned to it by the revenue department is classified as government land or class II wherein the state is the title holder, but has given the same stretch to locals for tilling and source their livelihood. However, a few local residents have now come forward claiming to have been tilling the land for years and are demanding adequate compensation for the same forcing the MMRDA to hold a joint meeting with the revenue department to ensure the work is not affected.
While the levelling work on around 15acres of land in the stretch has already started, development on the rest is likely to be stalled as the villagers are adamant on not allowing the work to proceed without a proper hearing. A meeting was held with a few villagers and MMRDA officials along with the Thane police early this week wherein the issue of rehabilitation was chiefly discussed.
“We have been tilling the land for years and are now asking for compensation from authorities,” said a resident, who is opposed to the project.
Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik has written a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis where it is mentioned, “A part of the land in this area seems to be a private farm land and a few villagers are dependent on it for their livelihood. They are ready to cooperate with the project, but are awaiting a proper rehabilitation package by the state. The state should sort out the situation and work out a proper rehabilitation policy for these residents.
” A MMRDA official confirmed the developments and said they are working to thrash the issue. “Our focus is to construct the project and we will be setting up the facility only on the stretch assigned to us. The discussion required is likely to delay setting up the yard, which could affect execution of the metro rail project that is slated to be completed by 2021,” said the official.