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‘Raigad-like procedure won’t be followed in future’.........Surendra Gangan
The state has every right to acquire land for developmental purpose, but not for SEZ: Deshmukh
Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has clarified that no procedure of referendum on SEZs exists under Land Acquisition Act and the public hearing conducted in Raigad two weeks ago was the process of recording suggestions and objections of the stake-holders.

He also said that the Raigad-like procedure would not be followed in case of any other SEZs coming up in the state.

Deshmukh said the procedure followed in the 22 villages in Pen was an exception as it was still not clear if the land would come under irrigation after completion of Hetwane irrigation project. “It was the procedure of recording suggestions and objections by the land holders from the area where the SEZ is coming up. The notification issued under section 4 and section 6 of the Act was before the SEZ policy announcement and hence the case is being reconsidered for 22 villages,” he said.

The chief minister also clarified that the state government has every right of acquiring land for developmental purpose, except the land required for the SEZs. “We are waiting for the report to be submitted by the Raigad collector,” he said. Deshmukh was talking to media-persons at the Sahyadri guest house recently after returning from his Europe tour.

When asked about the opposition to the SEZs within his cabinet, Deshmukh said that the ministers talking against the projects are expressing the sentiments of the people from the area.

Deshmukh reiterated that the opposition to the Dow project by the locals and the Warkari community is because of the misconception they have in their minds. “The project in Pune is only a research and development unit offering employment to 400 local engineers. There will be no manufacturing. Keeping in mind the sentiments of local people, we have ordered a probe by an expert committee,” he said.

The chief minister claimed that the state received a huge response from investors in European countries and investments of Rs2,000 crore are expected out of 8 MoUs. “The potential investors have not been kept in the dark about the power scarcity and opposition to the SEZs in the state. The land required for the projects we signed during the tour is the land in possession of the state government,” he said.

URL: http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1195191