Panju Island

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The island is just about visible to the north
Village with the jetty
Panju village seen to the left of the image as seen from Naigaon jetty

Panju Island is an estuarine island in the Vasai Creek just north of Mumbai. The island is used to by the Western Railway connect the island of Salsette with the mainland at Vasai. It is located at 19°19′59″N 72°51′00″E / 19.333°N 72.85°E / 19.333; 72.85 with a maximum elevation of 1 m (3 ft) .

Coordinates: 19°19′59″N 72°51′00″E / 19.333°N 72.85°E / 19.333; 72.85

Panju (Island) village is located in the Vasai creek, positioned between western railway’s Naigaon & Bhayandar stations. It is an ancient village. All the monetary transactions were carried from this village at the time of Sir Chimaji Aappa. The Village has given pivotal contribution in India’s Freedom fighting campaign. It has given twenty three freedom fighters and stands first in Thane district as far as its capacity of population is concerned. Area of Panju Island is around 600 acres, Aagri community dwells here. Main profession of the community is farming, fishing, salt farming & manual sand evacuations by tradition. There's a primary school as well as Government recognized secondary school. To run secondary school without Government's grant is very difficult, as students here are from poor families. Further, to pay honorarium to teachers from fees is out of capacity. Mr. Devendra Bhoir & Headmistress-Madhuri Bhoir and their teaching staff look after correspondence and administration of school. Government should consider to grant financial aid to such school's. Due to geographical conditions, it is remote and difficult village. Though western railways tracks cross through Island, there isn't any means of transportation apart from the small transport boat because the village does not have a railway platform or road connectivity. Since Independence, villagers are fighting for a railway station. But nobody – state as well as central government tries to understand the gravity of villager’s problems. Independently they have made their transport system by small engine boat to travel to and fro from Panju to Naigaon jetty. It is very risky to travel by boat as there are no security measures if any untoward incident occurs. In rainy season the condition is even more worse to travel. Frequently the service of transport the boat gets suspended due to heavy rain's and wind. Further, to get down at Jetty is again difficult task, as boat gets stuck up in the shallow marshes around 60–100 feet far from Jetty. In this situation you have to get down in three to four small boats and hip-hop between them to reach the main boat, during this maneouver, there are good chances to slip and fall down in the marshland. Always visitors as well as women and students fall in the marshes. In this case the total travelling time from Naigaon jetty to the Panju jetty takes 30 to 60 minutes. In this condition to carry patients, pregnant women and carry goods are further a tricky task. There is an urgent need to increase the length of Panju Jetty by around 100 feet. But neither local body nor the district and port authorities are willing to do this work on an urgent basis.

[By: Devendra Bhoir, devpanju@yahoo.co.in]

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