Skip to main content

Gujarat govt begins "grabbing" land allocated to Narmada dam oustees 15 yrs ago invoking town planning law

Narmada oustees
By Our Representative
In move without precedence, the Gujarat government has begun to evict Narmada dam oustees, settled in resettlement colonies in the state. One such oustee, Bijalbhai, originally from village Shurpan of Dediapada taluka in Bharuch district, was resettled about 15 years ago at a resettlement site called Dabhoinada in district Vadodara. On September 2, officials of Dabhoi municipality told him to vacate from his plot, survey No 1,434 area, an agricultural land measuring 1.37 acres, allocated to him as part of resettlement entitlement.
A Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) statement quoting the incident, said, the officials came with police force, vacated him from his plot, forcibly took him to the Dabhoi police station, and demolished his hut, which he also used as a small tea shop. “The municipal authorities issued a notice to Bijalbhai bhai on August 12, in the presence of officials from the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), which said there was a court order, and its execution demanded that Bijalbhai should vacate the land”, the NBA said in a statement.
Forwarded by Medha Patkar, top social activist and leader of NBA, the statement said, the municipal authorities has applied the state government’s town planning Act, which required Bijalbhai to part with 40 per cent of his land for town infrastructure development. “When Bijalbhai, a tribal, his family and other villagers protested, the municipal officials threatened other resettlers that the town planning Act would apply on them as well. Bijalbhai was told, if he resisted he would be arrested, so he had better sign up papers handing over the plot”, the statement said.
In fact, according to the statement, Bijalbhai and others showed the title of the agri-plot which was allotted to them in 1999 as part of resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) package. This prompted Patkar and 50 other representatives of resettlement sites and other activists to reach the site to lodge a complaint with the police over forcible eviction threatened upon Bijalbhai. “The police station refused to file a complaint”, the statement complained.
Bijalbhai’s case is not an isolated incident, according to the NBA. “It has been observed that Gujarat has gone all out to vacate as many persons as possible from the plots of land allotted to the adivasi oustees. Since the land prices in and around Dabhoi, as also in other talukas, have escalated many times, original landowners and the state’s statuary agencies are putting pressure on adivasis to return the land”, the statement said, calling it a “conspiracy” against the oustees.
“Earlier, resistance was put up by the people of Dabhoinada resettlement colony under the leadership of Shankarbhai Tadvi and others associated with the NBA. They were sought to be driven away by grabbers of land”, the statement said, adding, “A list of about hundred families resettled in Gujarat, that included some oustees from Madhya Pradesh as well, was prepared and the government authorities conveyed to them that they would have to vacate the plots, though they were their rightful owners for the last 10-15 years”.
It may be noted that the town planning Act is being invoke (click HERE to read) to evict farmers from their land in special investment regions (SIRs) of Gujarat, sought to be promoted as modern townships. The farmers from Ahmedabad district’s Dholera SIR, which is being promoted as one of the 100 smart cities of India, have already received notices to hand over between 40 and 50 per cent of their land under the town planning Act. The matter came up as a major point of contention at the environmental public hearing for Dholera SIR, held on January 3, 2014.

Comments

TRENDING

WHO move can 'enable' India to detain citizens, restrict freedom, control media

Counterview Desk  In an an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with copies to concerned Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and MPs,  health rights network  People’s Alliance for Public Health (PAPH alias JanSwasthya Morcha), has urged that India should not be a signatory to the World Health Organization ( WHO) Pandemic Agreement and Amendments to the  International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005  to be adopted at the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva from 27th May to 1st June, 2024.

'Enough evidence': Covid vaccines impacted women's reproductive health

By Deepika*  In 2024, the news outlets have suddenly started reporting about covid vaccine side effects in a very extensive manner. Sadly, the damage is already done.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Uncertainty in Iran': Raisi brokered crucial Chabahar Port deal with India

By Pranjal Pandey*  Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President, and the country’s foreign minister were tragically found deceased on May 20, 2024, shortly after their helicopter crashed in foggy conditions. In response, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly appointed a relatively unknown vice president as the interim leader.

Informal, outdoor workers 'excluded': Govt of India's excessive heat policies

Counterview Desk  Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), has demanded urgent government action to protect millions of outdoor workers from extreme heat and heatwaves, insisting declaration of heatwaves as climatic disaster.

Desist from academic censorship, stop threatening scholars: Letter to ICMR

Counterview Desk  In a letter to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director, the Universal Health Organisation (UHO) which consists of prominent health experts, has insisted that the Government of India’s top medical research agency should lead high quality research on vaccine safety and “desist from academic censorship”.

Growing stream of pollution infecting homes, bodies in US, Vietnam

By Erica Cirino*  Louisiana’s “River Parishes,” located along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, shoulder some of the worst industry impacts in the United States. As a result, this region has acquired a grim reputation as “ Cancer Alley .”