ve-sez-3Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group has approached the ministry of commerce and industry and the Congress-led Democratic Front government for a further extension for its multi crore Raigad SEZ project. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group have submitted an application seeking further extension for its multicrore Raigad SEZ project. While it is for the Centre’s board of approval to take a decision, the board has sought information from the state government on the status of the project. The Centre had granted in-principle approval for the SEZ project on August 8, 2003. Then it was asked to complete the land acquisition process by August 7, 2008. On a fresh application, it was granted extension up to August 7, 2009. Now, as the Mumbai SEZ was unable to acquire the land, it has sought further extension of up to August 7, 2010. In a brief letter, the Mumbai SEZ has claimed that it has taken all possible and effective steps in the given circumstances for early acquisition of land. The request of the Reliance group stated that “So far, we have been able to execute agreement for sale, with payment of full consideration with the permission of the state government, for land admeasuring 4,800 acres. However, to achieve contiguity, we need support of the state government for acquiring intervening lands, which in the present circumstances could be achieved only after the land acquisition (amendment) bill is passed. Further, the letter stated that the Mumbai SEZ has already spent/committed Rs 1,200 crore, of which an amount of Rs 110 crore has been paid to the state government towards the cost of land acquisition and Rs 500 crore to the land owners. It maybe recalled that owing to a series of agitations launched by the local farmers, it was unable to acquire the land. Following a protest staged by the farmers, the Raigad collector had conducted a referendum on the project in 22 villages. The collector has submitted the report to the government, which is yet to take a decision on the recommendations. Sana Warsia – NMTV News.

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