Venting his ire over agitation by a section of social and green activists against the project of Hindustan Construction Company on environmental and land acquisition issues, Pawar said the negative campaign stalled it for some years before it got back on the track.

"There are 26 sites near unpopulated water body in Maharashtra that can be developed on the lines of English tourist towns," the former union agriculture minister said.

Pawar was speaking at the 80th anniversary function of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

Pawar, who is said to have conceptualised the Lavasa project in the district, has been its ardent supporter despite various objections raised by environment and social activists. He said the lake city was now a tourist attraction, visited by about 10,000 people every week.

He also advised the media not to give publicity to the negative campaigns of the "elements opposed to development" and stressed on the need to change the mindsets of the people.


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