Vasai-Virar civic body: villages intensify agitation
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Intensifying their agitation against the inclusion of their villages in the newly formed Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation, people from 53 villages on Tuesday started a hunger strike. People of more than 100 villages have been agitating since August 1 outside the Vasai Tehsil office under the banner of Gaon Vacha Jan Andolan (people's agitation to save villages).
Shiv Sena leader Vivek Pandit said if the government accedes to the demands of the villagers, it would be a victory for all the villages that have voted against the inclusion in the municipal corporation. Sena is one of the several political parties, organisations and social workers that have come together for the cause of the villages under the Gaon Vacha Jan Andolan.
"However, if the government fails to exclude the villages from the municipal corporation by August 8, then we would undertake an indefinite fast," said Pandit. Pandit has also warned of a series of bandhs in Thane district. The bandhs would affect the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express and all the Tehsil offices of the district, he has warned.
What has peeved the villagers is the fact that as per government order in 2006, the fate of the villages, whether to be included in the municipal corporation or not, was to be decided on the basis of the outcome of the gram sabha meetings. As per the gram sabha meetings, 45 five-village panchayats did not want their villages to be included in the proposed municipal corporation. It was claimed that only four villages, Pelhar, Kashit Kopar, Chandansar, Chikal Dongri, opted for inclusion in the municipal corporation.
Majority of the villages who had opted out were in for a rude shock when they found that they were part of the municipal corporation. "It was a mockery of the entire exercise," said Domniqua Dabre, one of the leaders of the agitation.
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