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Villagers resist displacement for Purandar Airport, Pune, India

Landowners from seven villages have sustained resistance to loss of their homes and farmland for an airport in Purandar since the location of the project was announced. They have held many mass protests and refuse to cooperate with land acquisition.


In July 2018 that Maharashtra state government gave a major push to plans for a new airport in Purandar. The Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) was appointed as the special planning authority, bestowed with all the powers of a Planning Authority for land acquisition on the area notified for the airport. MADC declared 2,832 hectares of land as a notified area to be acquired for the project, an area spread across seven villages: Pargaon, Ekhatpur, Munjvadi, Kumbharvalan, Vanpuri, Udachiwadi and Khanvadi. With notification of the land area the boundary of the proposed airport was confirmed and a copy of the plan made available to the public [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Villagers resist displacement for Purandar Airport, Pune, India
State or province:Maharashtra
Location of conflict:Pune
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The airport project is headed by Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) and the investment is estimated at US$2.1 billion. The airport is to be called Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport, named after the second ruler of the Maratha kingdom [22]. An airport with two parallel 2,400 metres length runways is planned [23]. In October 2016, when the airport at Purandar was announced, the land requirement was 2,400 hectares [5]. But by July 2018 the required land area had increased to 2,832 hectares [1].

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Project area:2,832
Level of Investment for the conflictive project2,100,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:Residents of 7 villages, number not yet confirmed
Start of the conflict:21/09/2016
Company names or state enterprises:Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) from India - MADC is the owner / investor and has been appointed as the special planning authority for the project
Dorsch Gruppe from Germany - Conducting a techno-economic feasibility study
Relevant government actors:Pune District Administration
Maharashtra State Government
Airports Authority of India (AAI)
National Government of India
Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA)
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC)
City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (Cidco)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Vimantal Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Refusal of compensation
Obstruction of land survey
Hundreds of landowners staged a ‘rasta roko’, blockading roads leading to their villages for four hours to protest against the airport project. Many cooked food while sitting in the roads, a symbolic action meaning that will be their situation if their land plots are taken away
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Noise pollution, Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths
Potential: Malnutrition, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsIn April a 77-year old a farmer from Pargaon village committed suicide by consuming pesticide. His family attributed his death to “severe mental stress”[13]
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Repression
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The airport is at the proposal stage but is being strongly pushed by the Maharashtra state government.
Sources & Materials

[1] Purandar airport: Maharashtra notifies 2,832-hectare land, Indian Express, 18 July 2018
[click to view]

[2] Cochin model set to placate farmers as airport plan evolves, Pune Mirror, 21 September 2016
[click to view]

[3] Pune: Villages up in arms against proposed airport at Purandar, Indian Express, 8 October 2016
[click to view]

[4] Iravatee Majgaonkar and Vidya Athreya, The Wolf and the Sheep: Concerns about the Proposed Purandar Airport in Pune, Conservation India, 23 August 2017
[click to view]

[5] Rumblings with in goverment over proposed site at Purandar, Times of India, 13 October 2016
[click to view]

[6] Black ‘Gudi’, meet mark Diwali in Purandar villages, Times of India, 31 October 2018
[click to view]

[7] Villagers uproot pillars set up by survey team, Times of India, 2 December 2016
[click to view]

[8] Purandar on a boil: Airport land survey begins amid farmers’ protests, 1,300 detained, Indian Express, 11 November 2016
[click to view]

[9] Villagers seek legal tips from retired high court judge, Times of India, 16 November 2016
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[10] From scattered to organised, Purandar protest takes shape, Times of India, 7 December 2016
[click to view]

[11] Green experts cry wolf, but state still on airport prowl, Pune Mirror, 14 September 2016
[click to view]

[12] Purandar farmers restart protest, may go to court, Times of India, 6 March 2017
[click to view]

[13] Purandar farmer kills self, kin blame stress, Times of India, 10 April 2017
[click to view]

[14] Landowners to seek President permission to end lives, Times of India, 30 January 2018
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[15] Purandar airport faces hurdle of land acquisition as villagers plan to escalate protest, Hindustan Times, 29 January 2018
[click to view]

[16] 2,000 villagers hold protest meet, Sakal Times, 5 February 2018
[click to view]

[17] Villagers protest outside District Collectorate, Sakal Times, 14 February 2018
[click to view]

[18] Agitators to deny entry to government officials in Purandar villages, Times of India, 17 May 2018
[click to view]

[19] Women of 7 villages unite to prevent land acquisition, Times of India, 29 July 2018
[click to view]

[20] Villagers block roads for four hours to protest against Purandar airport, 7 August 2018
[click to view]

[21] पुरंदर विमानतळाच्या विरोधात चक्काजाम,, 7 August 2018
[click to view]

[22] Local residents Oppose to Purandar Airport, Maharashtra News, 10 June 2019
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[23] I will not one inch land to given for airport,, 11 June 2019
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[24] 1,555 objection letters against land acquisition for Purandar airport submitted to government, Hindustan Times, 25 August 2019
[click to view]

[25] New Pune International Airport, Centre for Aviation (CAPA), May 2018
[click to view]

[26] Purandar airport takes off after Centre’s all-clear, Hinudstan Times, 24 April 2018
[click to view]

[27] Pune: Feasibility Study for “Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport”, Purandar, India, Dorsch Gruppe
[click to view]

[28] PMRDA construct road to Purandar airport site, Times of to India, 1 August 2018
[click to view]

[29] Government consortium to raise finance for Puandar’s ‘Airport City’, says Devendra Fadnavis at an event in Pune, Hindustan Times, 17 November 2018
[click to view]

[30] Land acquisition process, poll code could delay ‘fast-tracked’ Purandar airport project, Hindustan Times, 20 September 2019
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Farmers strike against government over land acquisition for Purandar Airport, May 2017
[click to view]

Villagers hold a 'chakkajam' road block against land acquisition for Purandar Airport, they block the road with bullock carts and cook by the roadside, August 2018
[click to view]

Villagers protest against loss of their farmland for Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport (Purandar), February 2018
[click to view]

On 10th November 2016 hundreds of farmers from several villages resisting displacement for Purandar Airport blocked a land survey
[click to view]

Farmers hold black flag protest against Purandar Airport, November 2016
[click to view]

Purandar Airport: Farmers fume over construction on their land, HW News English, 31 August 2019
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Rose Bridger, Stay Grounded, email: [email protected]
Last update01/11/2019
Conflict ID:3665
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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