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

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.