Skip to main content

Farmers to lose 35% land: Gujarat govt decision to implement of "sub judice" Surat urban development plan

Sabar Rabari
By Our Representative
The Khedut Samaj – Gujarat (KSG), the apex body of farmers' organizations across the state, has estimated that thousands of farmers of 104 villages of Olpad, Choryasi, Kamrej, Palsana and Mangrol talukas of Surat district are likely to lose 35 per cent of their land owing to the declaration that these villages will be inducted into Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA).

The KSG, in a statement, has said, this is even against the provisions of the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976, under which just 20 per cent of the land of the farmers is to be deducted in case a development plan is development plan is floated in a particular rural area.
Asking “Why should the farmers part with their priceless assets for development plans which are useless for them?”, the KSG statement, signed by Sagar Rabari, its leader, has demanded cancellation of the development plan announced by SUDA, calling it “anti-development” from the farmers' angle.
Announced on May 7, the SUDA's development plan was preceded by “large-scale changes effected even to the 95 villages taken into SUDA in 1983”, Rabari says, adding, “Farmers of the 199 villages spread over 1,02,400 hectares (ha) know how devastating the effects of ‘development’ can be.”
It took away “the extremely fertile area of of 199 villages (95 earlier and present 104) on the left and right banks of the Ukai and Kakrapar irrigation schemes, reaping rich yields of sugarcane, bananas, cotton, papaya and vegetables”, Rabari says.
Pointing out that the people of the area and the cooperative sector are intimately connected, Rabari estimtes, the area contribures Rs 1741crore of agri-based production -- Rs 1227 from sugar, Rs 252 crore from milk, Rs 171 crore from paddy, and Rs 89 crore from vegetables.
“The proposed development thus endangers the very existence of the cooperative sector of the region”, he says, adding, “The sugar factories of Kamrej, Sayan, Chalthan, Maroli, Pandvai, Vataria, Kotha and Bardoli which get the raw material from this area also face grim prospects for their survival if the development plan is allowed to materialise.”
Pointing out that there is also a procedural lapse, KSG says, “Parliament has added sections 243ZD and 243ZE to the Constitution through constitutional amendment. As per these amendments, the development plan of an area is to be developed by a development authority comprising the chairpersons of the village panchayats, elected members of the taluka and district panchayats, and mayor in case of a municipality or a corporation.”
“The role of the bureaucrats is to offer technical assistance only; the development plans have to be sanctioned by the development authority. The state government cannot impose its vision/version of development from above. Exactly the opposite is happening here”, it says.
Yet, it regrets, “The amendment has not been implemented till date by the Gujarat government, forcing the KSG and other organisations to petition the High Court of Gujarat in this regard (petition no. 1480/2016 and 1480/2016) to direct the Government of Gujarat to implement the amendment.”
Failing to directly oppose the petition, Rabari says, “The sate government has sought time in order to implement the amendment. When the matter is yet sub-judice and the government is yet to act on its undertaking, such a unilateral announcement is tantamount to contempt of the Constitution, the Court and indeed of the people.”

Comments

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”