The state government said that it was wrong to frustrate a project of such public importance for the sake of a few persons.
Mumbai: The State government has sought that petitions filed against the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg expressway be dismissed.
The state government submitted an affidavit backing the project and said that it had been undertaken to meet the aspirations of the public in the entire state of Maharashtra and beyond. The state government said that it was wrong to frustrate a project of such public importance for the sake of a few persons.
A division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice M.S. Sonak was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by the gram panchayats of Igatpuri and Sinnar taluka of Nashik District. The gram panchayats alleged that the Samruddhi Mahamarg had been proposed as passing through 300 villages and 12 districts of Maharashtra. It was going to be built through Nashik district, affecting the most fertile land.
At the last hearing, the petitioners’ lawyer Rameshwar Gite argued before the court that government was not acquiring land from farmers in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act. Gite said that as per the law, the government could not acquire land that was rich to grow crops without giving a special reason and without showing that there was no alternative available to the government except to acquire the land.
The court had directed the state government to file an affidavit in this regard. Accordingly, Rahul Patil, sub-divisional authority, Nashik district, filed an affidavit in the high court.
The affidavit stated that a large number of people would be benefited by this Mahamarg. No development was possible without some adverse effect. Any attempt to either defeat or even stall the project would permanently cause damage to the interest of common citizens.
The affidavit further stated that existing transport facilities by road were entirely inadequate to cater to the needs of the people. The affidavit submitted that the government was the best judge to decide whether the acquisition was for public purposes or not. The petitioners could not substitute the government’s judgment with their own judgment as to what constituted public purposes and requirement of land for execution of the e-way. The decision of the government was based on detailed study and survey.