Skip to main content

Gujarat govt plans to take away 50% of land from Dholera SIR farmers, claims it's "not land acquisition"

Dholera SIR: 50% of farmers' land up for "acquisition" 
By Our Representative
There is flutter among farmers of the Dholera special investment region (SIR). Farmers across 22 villages, with a rural populace of around 60,000 in the south of Ahmedabad, have been served notices citing the Gujarat SIR Act, 2009, depriving them of 50 per cent of their land they have been owning it for generations. Ishwarbhai Bhavabhai, who owns 22,663 sq metres of land in Ambli village in Dhandhuka taluka, has been told he has been allocated a different piece of land instead of the one he owns which will be 11,331 sq metres. Bhivabhai Bhawabhai of the same village, who owns 26,912 sq metres of land, has been told he has been similarly allocated 13,456 sq metres of land.
The notice, copies of which are with Counterview, warns the farmers that they must report to the authorities on a given date and hand over the possession of their land, and instead take the title of the new piece, which is half of the original. If they fail to do it, the Dholera SIR authorities reserve the right to evict them from their original piece land. The land, the notice says, has been taken away, under Section 17(2) of the Gujarat SIR Act, 2009, which puts the entire SIR area under the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976 for developing roads for the SIR.
The issue of 50 per cent deduction of land came up at the environmental public hearing (EPH) for Dholera SIR, which took place on January 3, 2014, where farmers raised clarification. The Gujarat government officials told them that in the “Development Plan and Draft Town Plan” for Dholera, there wouldn’t be any deduction of land only for “notified rivers, ponds and water bodies”, but “with a view to provide world class infrastructure and premium civic amenities in Dholera SIR, a policy decision has been taken on 50 per cent deduction of land”.
KD Chandnani, CEO, Dholera SIR Development Authority, said, “Under the Town Planning Scheme, after deduction of land up to 50 per cent, land will be allotted to the original land owner in a geometric shape, and with all the infrastructure facilities, in the form of a final plot. Compensation for the deducted land will be paid as per the jantri April 2011.” Jantri is the government assessment of the value of land, and the rate being applied as compensation is several times less than the market value the farmers can get in case they sale away their land on their own today.
While pointing out that “since no land acquisition is involved”, and “there is no question of rehabilitation/ resettlement”, Chandnani in a written reply said, “This area shall be developed under the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976. Farmers can cultivate their land till they wish to do so. Village buffer zones have been provided for the preservation, integration, and comprehensive development of the existing village settlements. All constitutional and land rights are being retained. Under the Town Planning Scheme, after deduction of land up to 50 per cent, it will be allotted to the original land owner with all the infrastructure facilities in the form of a final plot.”
Trying to assuage cattle breeders, Chandnani says, “Grazing and forest land has been retained in SIR. All the livelihood rights are retained.” Regarding farmers’ apprehension that the Narmada waters will no more reach them, he insists, “Narmada Nigam has decided to provide canal in this area. Development of Industrial Township is not proposed on 100% land of Dholera SIR, but only 17 per cent of the total area is proposed as Industrial Zone, in the Development Plan. Neither land acquisition nor resettlement is involved, as gamtal will be retained.”
Chandani, in fact, rules out any compensation of the type envisaged in the new land acquisition Act, 2013, which would force the government pay four times the market rate and a nod from the village panchayat for acqusition. He says, “While we do recognize the merits in the new land acquisition Act, 2013, land pooling and land readjustment as per Town Plan (TP) schemes is demonstrated to be successful in Gujarat and the local communities have already expressed their acceptability on this, during the various consultations undertaken in the past two years.”

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”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

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.

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.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”