Skip to main content

Gujarat's Dholera smart city area farmers protest "failure" to comply by land rights promise, submit memorandum

By Our Representative
The upcoming Gujarat farmers’ organization, Khedut Samaj - Gujarat (KSG), representing thousands of farmers of the prestigious Dholera special investment region (SIR) have, in a memorandum to Gujarat minister Anandiben Patel, said that despite promise made about two years ago, the Gujarat government has “failed” to settle the pending land rights issues of the farmers, who received agricultural plots during the land reforms days of the 1960s.
Dholera SIR has been planned as one of the major smart cities along the Gulf of Khambhat in Gujarat on a largely agricultural area, which produces one of the best varieties of organic wheat, called Bhalia. The Gujarat government has declared its intention to impose town planning Act on the region, which requires farmers to give away 50 per cent of their land in the name of developing urban infrastructure. This has happened alongside the Dholera SIR authorities declaring that the beneficiaries of land reforms who have not received land titles now belong to the government.
The memorandum was submitted to district collector, Ahmedabad, by KSG leaders Sagar Rabari, Pradyumnasinh Chudasma, Bhavubhai Mer, Ramdesinh Chudasma and Persis Ginwalla following a five-day-long foot-march, which was sought to be banned by the Gujarat government. The ban had to be lifted following a Gujarat High Court order in October-end.
The padayatra of Dholera SIR farmers was set off on November 1, 2015 from village Sandhida and it covered a distance of 132 km. Among other demands put up in the memorandum was to cancel the decision to go ahead with Dholera SIR and to respect the promise of bringing Narmada waters to the region.
The memorandum asked the Gujarat government to withdraw its decision to amend the Land Ceilings and Land Tenancy Acts, and hand over land to the marginalized communities, a right which was allegedly being “taken away by the present government.”
The memorandum said, the Gujarat government must hold land kacheris or official meetings in each village as part the Gujarat government promise during the Environmental Public Hearing of Dholera SIR in January 2014 for settling farmers’ land rights issues, and remove “government wasteland” in land revenue records for the plots which the farmers were cultivating.
Other demands included allocating pastureland to every village according to its cattle population as per the latest cattle census, taking all the village water bodies on to the village revenue record and notify them as per the High Court order, increase the village residential areas, and allocation of surplus land to the landless agricultural workers, as per the government policy.
The memorandum said, “The tillers are the actual owners of the land but are not considered so on account of the inefficiency of the government and administration. Such lands have now been sold to the special purpose vehicle (SPV) at the rate of Rs 600 per square meters by the government. The farmers of the area are extremely concerned and angry.”
It warned, “If the government does not take timely decisions on removal of SIR and reversing the Narmada de-command government resolution (GR), the people will express their sentiments in the forthcoming taluka and district panchayat elections.”

Comments

TRENDING

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

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.

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.