Maharashtra Farmers Refuse to Allow Expansion of Karad Airport, Call it 'Non-viable'

Reported by

Prerna Chaurashe

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 18, 2016

September 18, 2016

Updated on

September 18, 2016

Location of Conflict

Varunji

Kese, Munde, Padali, Gote and Supane villages

Satara

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Airport

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

25000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1295

ha

Starting Year

2011

State

Maharashtra

Sector

Infrastructure

The Karad airport in Satara district was constructed in the 1960s to facilitate the Koyna dam project. In 2011, then Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan proposed to expand the airstrip. The airstrip then could handle only small charter aircraft, so there was a need to expand into a proper runway to handle midsize aircraft. Farmers from six villages Varunji, Kese, Munde, Padali, Gote and Supane objected that it would take away their fertile land. According to the villagers, Karad is a small town with only 70,000 people. They argued that land acquisition would affect about 25,000 people who depend on agriculture. However, in June 2011, the district administration initiated land measurement for expansion of the airport near Varunji village, 1.5 kilometres from Karad. Some 450 farmers from Varunji and Kese villages demanded talks with the chief minister. The land on which a lift irrigation scheme was running was also proposed to be acquired. Farmer leader Ashok Thorat said this would affect the 3,200 acres of farmland irrigated by the lift irrigation scheme. The struggle against the project is being led by Shramik Mukti Dal. Its president, Bharat Patankar, argues that the expansion violates the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, which prohibits the acquisition of irrigated farmland. The farmers also claim that the project is being pushed with unnecessary urgency by sending a final notice for land acquisition without any earlier notice. The farmers have been staging protests against the project since 2011. In 2012, more than 4,000 farmers staged a protest asking for the plan to be scrapped. In December 2012, the issue was raised in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly while the farmers led a sitin in front of the airport. The farmers staged another sitin in July 2019 in front of the district collector's office. They announced that they would continue to protest until the project was cancelled. In August, 2019, the farmers held another protest at the airport gate and demanded information on the use of the airport since 2011. However, they ended their protest in September 2019 after 50 days in the hope that the project would be scrapped. The same month, Stay Grounded, an international network supporting the struggle, sent an open letter to the prime minister and the Satara district collector requesting the government to heed the farmers' demands. The letter requested the authorities to "prioritise their rural livelihood and safety over the development of a nonviable infrastructure that serves particular political interests, involves safety risks and is noncompliant with policy".

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to scrap the expansion project

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

85.46

Type of investment:

Investment Made

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Central/State Government Policy

Legislations/Policies Involved

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 12 [It shall be lawful for the appropriate government to enter upon, survey and take levels of land in order to determine the extent of land to be acquired]; Section 15 [Any person interested in the land sought to be acquired may object to the area and suitability of the land proposed to be acquired or the justification offered for public purpose]
National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007
Clause 1.4 [Acquisition of agricultural land for non-agricultural use must be kept to the minimum and acquisition of irrigated land must be avoided, if possible]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Involvement of national and international NGOs

Development of a network or collective

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation, Airports Authority of India

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Shramik Mukti Dal (Dr. Bharat Patankar), Prithviraj Chavan (ex CM)

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

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