Skip to main content

RTI application reveals in a decade Gujarat govt handed over 81.95 crore sq m farm land to industrial houses

Narmada command: De-commanded
By Our Representative
A right to information (RTI) application has revealed that the Gujarat government has acquired and handed over a whopping 81.95 crore square metres of land to top industrial houses, most of it dirt cheap, over the last one decade. It also revealed that the price at which the land -- which belonged to farmers, or was common village gochal land meant for cattle -- varied between a mere Re 1 to Rs 900, depending on the area, but in every case much less than the prevailing market rate.
Calculated in hectares (ha), the total area handed over to industrial houses comes to 81,934 hectares (ha), all of which was given away to the tycoons either as outright sale or as lease. Of this, a whopping 28,502 ha belongs to the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) in Ahmedabad district alone. This includes the land of 22 villages, coming under the Narmada command area. The entire area has now been decommanded, and here no farmer will be allowed to carry out any agricultural activity.
Information obtained through RTI, running into 50 pages, also revealed that on March 18, 2011, the state government passed a resolution which said that the entire area should be treated as having been "de-commanded", in the expectation that industries would heavily invest in Dholera SIR. The rate at which the area was handed over to the industrialists was a mere Rs 20 per square metre. "The farmers of the entire area have been turned into landless", a Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) release, based on its RTI application, said.
Quite in line with the Dholera area, in Kutch district, land was handed over the industrial houses at an even cheaper rate, the RTI details revealed. In Mundra taluka, the Adani group was handed over land for anywhere between Rs 2 and Rs 25 per square metre. The area handed over the to the Adani Group was 4.32 crore square metres, which included common grazing village land for the cattle.
Significantly, the current jantri -- which is the government assessment of the market value of land -- for the area is a huge Rs 2,500 to Rs 7,500 per square metre. Significantly, the jantri rate is always considerably less than the prevailing market rate, a certain percentage of which is fixed to be charged as stamp duty payable on each land transaction.
Further, the RTI application revealed that in Vadodara district's Savli taluka, on a 23 km stretch starting at the Manjusar Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) estate and ending at the Halol GIDC estate, a new SIR is taking shape, endangering the farmers to become landless. "In all 12 SIRs are proposed in Gujarat. If this happens, farmers of as many as 700 villages will become completely landless", the GPP claimed on the basis of the information it has received through the RTI application.
All this, the GPP alleged, handing over land dirt cheap has cost state coffers richer by Rs 30,000 crore. adding, this has happened when the Supreme Court has given "clear-cut directions" that without gram panchayat nod no land be transferred to any industrialists. In fact, after 2011, following the apex court directions, the Government of India wrote to the chief secretaries of each state that gram sabha clearance is a prerequisite for any land transfer to purposes other than agriculture. "Despite this, the apex court directions are not being implemented."

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.