Catholic Sabha demands scrapping of SEZ plan

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Mumbai, Mar 15 (UNI) Over 2,000 Catholics today took out a rally at Azad Maidan here to protest acquisition of land and churches for setting up of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) at Gorai-Uttan and other parts of the city and its adjoining districts.

The Bombay Catholic Sabha President Dolphy D'souza today urged the State Government to halt the process of any further land acquisition, dispossession, demolition and displacement.

He demanded that the Government should lay down a new comprehensive policy and set up an effective mechanism to ensure protection of the interest of people not as a post-facto formality but, as a necessary pre-condition to the resumption of work on projects including those related to SEZ at Gorai-Uttan and airport expansion and development.

The setting up of SEZ at Gorai-Uttan also poses threat to national security as INS Hamla is very near to the projected plan, due to which over 1.5 lakh people will lose their homes and livelihoods, he said.

Nearly ten churches are under threat of being acquired, paving way for their demolition, Mr D'souza said, adding that it is not clear why such good agricultural land is being acquired for SEZs.

Also, the proposed expansion of the airport will be mainly catering to demands of shopping malls, convention centres and five star hotels, he added.

UNI ST NM SV GC1755

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