Many problems with MIHAN

 “The family went on a spending spree for a year. I purchased a motorcycle, a few buffaloes, repaired the house and had the girls married off. Now, not a single penny is left,” says Vasudev Kombhate, as he laughs sarcastically.

At Telhara, one of the villages being taken over for the cargo hub project, the relative prosperity after the government paid compensation has been shortlived. Today, most villagers are back to square one. Worse, actually — the land is gone and the money in return has been exhausted too. In the village of hundred houses, there are several small and marginal farmers, having holdings of four to seven acres. Most have already squandered their money and now await a bleak future.

It is a common story among several neighbouring villages facing acquisition for the project. “The money we got was too less,” say the villagers. Each one got Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh per acre. With modest holdings, the money was not more than Rs 4 to 6 lakh in a majority of cases. The villagers say the amount was too little to fulfil even the basic needs, leave aside saving.

No sooner was the money granted, our girls’ marriages was the first priority. “With enough money, there were lavish ceremonies. And the remaining went to paying off old debts or buying other luxury items, leaving a little to be invested,” said a village elder. A common expense seems to be bikes: In Telhara, around 90 new motorcycles were purchased in the last year alone, each costing from Rs 50,000 to 70,000. The youngsters also coaxed their elders to hand over the share to them. Ganjraj Kombhate curses his sons for not saving a penny. “They would throw lavish parties and buy things. In two years, they spent the entire amount,” Ganraj remembers. Things worsened to such an extent that Ganjraj was left without a decent clothing, till he was gifted a shirt in a marriage ceremony.

Hargun Dahane too says he is a pauper now. He received Rs 3 lakh for a small patch of land — a windfall indeed. His list of expenses was same as his fellow villagers. “All I have now is a few buffaloes — and a family of five to feed,” he observes poignantly. But it’s not the loss of land alone that troubles Dahane. “The project claimed my brother’s life,” he says. His brother Bandu Dahane was allegedly murdered by labourers working at the site, a few months ago. Political leaders have been assuring that that the family will be compensated. but nothing has happened so far. Now Dahane has his brother’s child to look after too.

Every second home visited at Telhara has the same story. There are some, however, who wisely invested the money in land plots or purchased other farms elsewhere. Suryabhan Ganar has purchased a 15 acre tract at Malegaon village in Wardha district, out of a little over Rs 20 lakh he got. A few families of the Dahane clan purchased plots too. “We are, however, doubtful that the land prices will improve soon,” Ganar said.



~ by nagpurestate on June 2, 2007.

2 Responses to “Many problems with MIHAN”

  1. i hope the bst hps fr the fmily

  2. Nice Article. This seems to be the case with all other villages that came directly under MIHAN project.

    Villagers should have applied their brain. They were fully dependent upon govt to take some action for themselves.

    Investment for future is very much required for everyone and this is where these village people lacked.

    Hope MIHAN project will have some work for them.

    Lets hope for the best.

    Vinay Yadav

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