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Videocon SEZ, Wagholi, MH, India


Maharashtra government through its executing agency Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had proposed a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Wagholi, near Pune in Maharastra in 2007. This is one of many in the state; Maharashtra has in fact over 200 sanctioned SEZs of which nearly half would come up in the Konkan region and another 44 would be in the agro-rich Pune district.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Videocon SEZ, Wagholi, MH, India
State or province:Maharastra
Location of conflict:At-Wagholi, Near pune
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Videocon is a large Indian company with diversified business. The company along with its subsidiaries is mainly engage with consumer electronics and home appliances business in India and internationally [4]. In 2007 Videocon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government for establishing a SEZ on 4,500 acres of land near Saswad in Pune district. He said it would solely be a Videocon venture but added that Wagholi had better infrastructure [3]. The proposed investment of the project was about Rs 20,000-crore (Rs 200 billion) for setting up an SEZ [5]. With the intense farmer’s protest the project has been cancelled and an alternate site has been proposed. [6]

Project area:1,820
Level of Investment for the conflictive project$3,317,949,594 (Rs 20,000 crore)
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:2006
End of the conflict:2009
Company names or state enterprises:Videocon Industries Ltd from India
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) from India
Relevant government actors:Government of Maharashtra, Government of India
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Anti- Mahamumbai SEZ Action Committee
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
New legislation
Project cancelled
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:At the height of protest in 2007, the union agriculture minister at that time Mr. Sharad Pawar who represented the lok sabha (lower house of Indian Parliament) expressed solidarity with the protesting farmers. He assured the delegation of farmers that the state government is planning to scrap the Videocon SEZ project [1].
Mr Pawar also took special initiative and informed that the Union government had formed a committee under him to look into the issue land acquisition for commercial purpose. The committee has issued directives that governments should not use their land acquisition policy to acquire land for any private company. According to The Economic Times Report Dated November 7, 2007 Mr. Power assured that "The Union government has accepted the directive. Henceforth, a government agency will only acquire land needed for social infrastructure like schools, hospitals, roads. A private company will have to work in its own capacity to acquire any land it needs. We have also instructed MIDC to de-notify the lands that it acquired at Wagholi, Bakori, Lonikand and Kesnand villages," [2].
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

The Special Economic Zone Act 2005
[click to view]

[1]Videocon's Wagholi SEZ may be scrapped
[click to view]

[2] Land acquisition for Wagholi SEZ comes to a halt
[click to view]

[3] State scraps Videocon SEZ project near Pune
[click to view]

[4] Videocon Industries Ltd
[click to view]

[5] In a first, Maha asks Videocon to shift SEZ
[click to view]

[6] Finally, state govt scraps Videocon SEZ near Pune
[click to view]

[7] State scraps Videocon SEZ project near Pune
[click to view]

State bows to local oppn, scraps four SEZ projects
[click to view]

State scraps Videocon SEZ project near Pune
[click to view]

Maharashtra: Videocon SEZ decision to affect other SEZs
[click to view]

Wagholi SEZ: Farmers get their lands back
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1482
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