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Maharashtra: Villagers agitating against Shai dam arrested

Thane, Mar 17 - Atleast 21 persons, agitating against the proposed Shai dam in the district's Sahapur taluka, were arrested here, police said today.

The protesters not only blocked the vehicular traffic in the Belavali, Sakharpada and Shiroshi villages but also set fire to the jungle in vicinity, they said.

The villagers were annoyed as the contractor who is carrying out the work of the dam, allegedly brought in machinery without permission from the revenue department.

According to them, the government has still not resolved as the issue of rehabilitation of the project-affected people from more than 52 villages of Sahapur and Murbad talukas.

Moreover, they alleged that there was no environment clearance for the dam and the authorities were rushing with the project without resolving important issues.

Among those arrested include President of Sangarsha Samiti, Pandurang Wargude and social worker Baban Harne, and organizer Prashant Sarkhot.

Meanwhile, the MMRDA has already started constructing dams on Shai (Thane) and Poshir (Raigad) rivers. The Shai dam project with a capacity of 940 MLDS would cost around Rs 1620 crore (as per 2009 estimate) and would be fully funded by the MMRDA and has to completed by 2016.

The project aims to provide water to cities like Thane, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan-Dombivli, Ambernath and Badlapur while Poshir would be providing water to municipal councils of Karjat, Khopoli and Matheran and it will have a capacity of 720 MLD. PTI

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