Pradeep Gupta, TNN
Times of India, Dec 6, 2010
KALYAN: On Sunday, thousands of villagers from around 50 villages staged
a protest against the state government's decision to go ahead with the
construction of Shai dam. The project aims to provide water to Mumbai
and satellite towns like Thane, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan-Dombivli,
Ambernath and Badlapur.
Funded by MMRDA, the project is estimated to cost around Rs 1,620 crore
and should be completed by 2015.
The villagers opposed the project, saying the government was not
awarding compensation for their land. They suggested that the state
government construct 13 mini dams on the rivers which will save money
and lands of the villagers.
The protesters included tribal women and children. "We have opposed the
whole project but then also the MMRDA had set up its base on a private
land owned by a villager illegally" said, Pandurang Janu Warghude,
president of Shai Dharan Virodhi Shetkari Samiti, said, "We have
demanded immediate removal of the base camp from the land and to cancel
The villagers called off their protest after MMRDA officials and police
promised to look into the matter.
S B Zagade, executive engineer (irrigation department), who is handling
the project said, "The Shai dam project's has a capacity of 380 million
cubic meters while the villagers who are recommending construction of 13
mini dams on the land will only provide 10 per cent of this supply."
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