Skip to main content

Rich farmers of Mandal-Becharaji area "regret" taking part in agitation against special investment region

Rich farmers "opposing" SIR
By Rajiv Shah
The Gujarat government may have gone on the back foot by excluding 36 of the 44 villages from its proposed special investment region (SIR) in the Mandal -Becharaji area of North Gujarat, but now there is enough reason for it to "cheer". Sharp rise in the land prices in the eight villages that will now be included in the newly-formed SIR – Bhagapura and Shihor of Detroj taluka, Hansalpur-Becharaji, Sitapur, Udhroj, Udhrojpura and Ukardi of Mandal taluka, Chandanki village of Becharaji taluka – is leading to a situation where a section of the rich landowners of rest of the 36 villages are said to be regretting why they protested against SIR.
Informed sources close to the development say, land prices in the eight villages have gone up so high that they are “double those that exist next to the Tata Motors’ Nano plant in Sanand area in Ahmedabad district.” They add, “The highest land price around the Nano plant is Rs 1.5 crore per bigha, while those next to the proposed Maruti-Suzuki plant, which is central to the SIR, have peaked Rs 3 crore per bigha. A section of the influential persons who participated in the agitation against the SIR under the Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG) never expected this to happen.”
In fact, if these sources are to be believed, some of the well-off landowners of the 36 villages have told JAAG leaders that they regret the day when they joined the agitation, which continued for about a year. “It seems clear that these landowners participated in the agitation only to raise the price of the land, and not against the SIR. While today the landowners of the eight villagers are rejoicing, their counterparts feel let down. In fact, some of them have informally told JAAG leaders whether it would be possible to reverse the decision of opposing the Becharaji-Mandal SIR”, the source said.
The suspicion is that, a few of the politically influential landowners may have approached the Gujarat government requesting for reversal of the decision to exclude 36 villages from the SIR. “Already, JAAG is failing to mobilize farmers of the Becharaji-Mandal area in favour of its main demand – to pressure the Gujarat government to abrogate the SIR Act itself, which puts the entire SIR region under a notified authority. Under the Act, this notified authority is more powerful than any local self-governing authority all issues of overall development, including land acquisition”, the sources pointed out.
Latest developments around the proposed Maruti-Suzuki plant suggest that the Gujarat government is doing all it can to raise the value of the Becharaji-Mandal area. Already, the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) is going ahead with its plans of setting up three industrial estates in the area by acquiring around 1,000 hectares of land in villages including Vithalpur and Bhagapura in Mandal and Detroj talukas. Sources said that the process of land acquisition has already started and is progressing gradually.
This is happening at a time when the land prices in Sanand are softening for the first time after a continuous appreciation since 2008 when Tata Motors set up the Nano plant in the Ahmedabad neighbourhood. Sanand land prices had shot up more than 300 per cent in three years. This led to a situation where farmers could command whatever price. The situation reached the extent where there were no takers and farmers in need of money began selling their land at 10-20 per cent lower rates. Average price of agricultural land jumped to more than Rs 1 crore per bigha, which was around Rs 10 lakh per bigha four years ago.
Meanwhile, the Mandal-Becharaji area continued to witness increasing demand for land as real estate developers try hard to build a land bank in the region. There is a distinct view that the demand for real estate is likely to rise considerably in the coming years. Already, India’s two-wheeler giant Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) is being wooed to put up a project in the vicinity. HMSI is said to be planning to set up its fourth manufacturing plant in the country in Gujarat. "The company has been looking for land in the Mandal-Becharaji region," a senior state official was quoted as saying.

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi's PRO, who served previous Congress, BJP CMs in Gujarat with "equal" competence

By Rajiv Shah
A public relations officer (PRO), even as maintaining anonymity, is supposed to “manage” reputation of his or her client, reflecting the client’s views in order to influence opinion and behaviour. A PRO is also known to use, the world over, media and communication to build, maintain, manage and plan publicity strategies and campaigns, even as dealing with enquiries from the public, particularly media, organising promotional events such as press conferences, open days, exhibitions, tours and visits. A PRO is also supposed to final touches to press statements for his or client.

80% school children are beaten up, 91% parents "approve" of it: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A recent report, prepared by researchers with the civil rights group, Agrasar, has revealed that of the 521 children from marginalized groups surveyed in Gurugram, Haryana, 80% said they are punished at school. Based on data collected from semi-urban communities in Gurugram, the report’s conclusions also take into account survey 100 parents, personal interviews with 26 children, three focus group discussions and one seasonal calendar exercise with 29 parents.