Skip to main content

Gujarat govt refuses to concede demand to denotify Bhechraji-Mandal SIR, farmers feel "cheated"

By Our Representative
Gujarat government has refused to accept the main demand of the Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG) for cancellation of the special investment region (SIR) notification for the Bhechraji-Mandal SIR, proposed as an industrial hub spread over 44 villages encompassing 530 sq km. A JAAG communique, following a meeting between JAAG representatives in Gandhinagar with a ministerial committee appointed by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to look into JAAG demands, said, "The ministers categorically refused to entertain the demand for withdrawal of the SIR notification."JAAG communique also suggested that the only "assurance" the ministers gave was the continue farming for the next three or four years, till SIR starts being implemented. Till that point, the area would be remain agricultural zone. JAAG made it clear that the "proposition is not acceptable to the movement and the people." Sources added, as for the demand to completely repeal the SIR Act, promulgated in 2009, another JAAG demand, the ministers flatly refused to entertain it altogether.
The SIR Act gives special powers to convert the entire SIR into a notified area, with a special authority having powers to overrule any decisions of local self-governing bodies. The Act, in fact, empowers the authority in such a way that it need not consult panchayats or gram sabhas before acquiring any piece of land for industrial use. This was the main reason why people 44 villages came together to begin protesting against the SIR Act in general and the Bhechraji-Mandal SIR in particular.
In view of "adamant" attitude of the Gujarat government, JAAG decided to hold next round of planning. It will "share the news and analysis with the people and to plan for the future on August 2, 2013 at village Vasna at 3 pm", the communique said. Significantly, Modi during his meeting with JAAG leaders on July 10, 2013, has assured that the demands of the people would be "respected". JAAG representatives were given the impression that Modi was talking in the context of withdrawal of the SIR notification.
Following the meeting, the Gujarat government constituted a four-member ministerial team to look into all the aspects of the proposed SIR and take a decision by August 15. The committee comprised of finance minister Nitin Patel, revenue minister Anandiben Patel, energy minister Saurabh Patel and education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, and it was made known to the protesting farmers that decision on Bhechraji-Mandal SIR would "not be taken in haste." However, things have moved the other way, and farmers are feeling "cheated", local leaders said.
Observers felt, Modi's main idea was to buy time so that the farmers' agitation became weak. He moved in to intervene after farmers of 44 villages continuously protested against the state government's decision to go ahead with the implementation of the SIR in the region. Farmers were expressing the fear that about 50,880 hectares of land would be diverted for industrial use. State government knew -- stakes were high. The new Maruti car plant is proposed in this region, at Hansalpur village on Viramgam -Becharaji highway.
Though farmers were not immediately opposing Maruti’s 640-acre plant at Hansalpur, they were against the idea of their fertile land being acquired for development of an industrial hub. Among their main demands was not to decommand the area which came under the Narmada command area. The state government had already moved to decommand a huge portion of the of the area from the Narmada command area, 2,922.68 hectares (ha) in Mandal and Detroj talukas in Ahmedabad district, and more was to follow. 

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

'Allow critical thinking': SAARC-sponsored varsity teachers support protesting students

By Our Representative
Teachers of the high-profile South Asian University (SAU), a New Delhi-based international institute sponsored by eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – have supported “peacefully protesting students and other citizens” against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.