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Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray opposed Mumbai-Nagpur expressway project: Fadnavis

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray and NCP-SCP president Sharad Pawar tried to create hurdles in the land acquisition process for the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway, but farmers backed the project wholeheartedly, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday.

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Participating in an interactive session at the 'Sushasan Mahotsav' organised by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini here, Fadnavis said Thackeray had addressed public meetings in villages where land was to be acquired for the expressway project.

"Uddhav Thackeray went to a village, addressed a public meeting and told villagers that their land will be snatched and asked them not to give land for the project," said Fadnavis, who was then the chief minister of Maharashtra.

He said former Union minister Pawar also addressed meetings in Sambhajinagar against the project.

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He said the government offered the villagers rates that were four times the value of the land to be acquired for the project.

"We also said that the villagers will get five times the value of the land if they handed over their land to the government through consent orders," he said.

Fadnavis said land acquisition in the village where Thackeray had addressed a public meeting was completed within a single day.

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"We acquired the land for the project through consent orders in a single day. We did the registrations and also made payments to their bank accounts," he said.

Fadnavis said that Eknath Shinde, who was the PWD Minister then, went to the village and signed the registration papers.

Fadnavis said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he was able to complete infrastructure projects such as the Atal Setu-Mumbai Trans Harbour Link and the Navi Mumbai greenfield airport which were pending for several decades. PTI SKU CK

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