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Ahmedabad district's Dholera Smart City area first "victim" of Gujarat Bill?: Surplus land for industrial use

Pradyumnasinh Chudasma
By Our Representative
Is Gujarat's controversial Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2015 all set to be “applied” on Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) – proposed as a Greenfield smart city about 90 kilometres south of Ahmedabad along the Gulf of Khambhat – even before it gets a final nod of President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, with whom it is currently pending?
The Gujarat governor refused to sign the Bill, passed in the state assembly recently, sending it to the Government of India against the backdrop of criticism that it enables the state authorities to help it transfer land declared surplus – but not transferred to the beneficiary farmers since the land reforms days – to industrialists. The Congress has represented to the President not to sign the bill.
Organized under the banner of Bhal Bachao Samiti, farmers' leader Pradyumnasinh Chudasma told newspersons in Ahmedabad that large sections of the poorer farmers, who had received the land that was declared surplus in the 1960s under the land ceiling law, have been told that the land which they have been tilling for decades “does not belong” to them.
“A whopping 29,503 hactares (ha) of land of the Dholera SIR, which has been handed over by the Gujarat government to the special purpose vehicle (SPV) created for the smart city, actually belongs to the farmers belonging backward sections of society as part of the land reforms”, Chudasma said.
“While the land is physically with the small farmers, even decades later the process of handing over land to the farmers has not been completed. They have not been handed over land titles. The Gujarat government promised to completed the process of handing over the land two years ago, ahead of the 2013 Lok Sabha elections, but it never kept the promise”, Chudasma said.

Added farmers' leader Sagar Rabari of Khedut Samaj – Gujarat, which is supporting the Dholera Bachao Samiti, the district collector, Ahmedabad, “had publicly assured them that consultations would be held on land in each village to address the pending revenue issues of the people, a fact recorded in the minutes of the Environmental Public Hearing for Dholera SIR, held two years ago.” Yet “these consultations have not been held so far.”
“We the poor farmers approach the local authorities to complete the process of handing over the land to the farmers, they are being summarily sent away. They are told that the 28,053 ha of land has been handed over to the Dholera SIR Authority, and the entire land is now in its physical possession. Nothing can be done about it any more”, the farmers' leader pointed out.
“In my village, Bavaliyari, about 1,100 acres of land, currently under the physical possession of the backward sections of 110 farmers, now in the possession of the Dholera SIR Authority now”, said Chudasma, adding, “This is true of all the 22 villages forming part of Dholera SIR smart city project. Currently, we are collecting facts from these villages.”
Meanwhile, the state government has allegedly decided once again to de-command the 22 villages, which means they will not be getting Narmada waters any more. “A 12 kilometre-long canal is being constructed outside the SIR, but canal work inside the 900 sq km area of the SIR has been stopped”, Chudasma said, adding, “This is a somersault of its earlier position, where we were told farmers will continue getting Narmada waters”.

Comments

vaghelabd said…
Dangerously Criminal Activities against Masses by BJP Govt at Gandhinagar and at Delhi.

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