Skip to main content

Posh Ahmedabad residents continue protest against Nirma "encoaching" play ground, AAP cadres join in

By Our Representative
Bodakdev, a posh locality of Ahmedabad, Gujarat's business capital, has been witnessing an unusual protest since December 26, 2016. Any passer-by can see a temporary stage and tents erected and various posters installed containing slogans and other information.
The protest has been continuing outside the Plot No 391, which is adjacent to Nirma Vidyavihar, a school run by the Nirma Education and Research Foundation. Better known manufacturing soaps and detergents, Nirma is one of the most powerful industrial houses of Gujarat.
According to residents, the establishment of Nirma Vidyavihar has created “a big time problem in Bodakdev”, as the plot, which is owned by the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA), has been allegedly encroached upon by the school authorities.
“We have demanded strict action against the school authorities, but to no avail”, they complain.
Sailesh Maheshwari, a Bodakdev resident who is spearheading the protest, says, “The Nirma school was established here eight years ago. They operate from Plot No 390, which was given to them way back in 2001 at about 30% of the actual price of land existing at that time. In 2003 they put in a second application for the adjoining Plot No 391, which measures 6301 square metres.”
Adds Maheshwari, “The second plot, which was used as a playground by children, was given to the Nirma Foundation absolutely free with a returnable deposit of Rs 1.5 lakh. Under the terms, the school authorities were supposed to use the playground during the school hours. As for the rest of the time, it was to be allowed to be used by public at large.”
AUDA notice to Nirma Foundation
However, he claims,“In contravention of the guidelines issued by AUDA, they created a parking space here for nearly 100 cars. Worse, they constructed several concrete structures on this plot, including a nine feet high wall around the periphery of the parking in order to prevent people from entering in.”
“The school authorities further put up padlocks on all the main gates, posting security guards on them to ensured that nobody enters in. They also put up nine different banners all around the periphery suggesting that the playground belongs to them”, says Maheshwari.
“Through this protest”, asserts Maheshwari, “We are pressurizing AUDA to return the playground to the residents of the area. We have also filed a PIL in High Court (PIL No 272 of 2016). However, so far nothing has happened. That is the reason why we are involving more and more people of Bodakdev to join the agitation and come forward to free the playground from the clutches of Nirma”.
On January 9, 2017, a protest walk was organized. Though the police refused permission, the residents walked around 5 kilometres from Nirma Vidyavihar to Ahmedabad International School to create an awareness about the encroachment.
“During the march we were told that similar encroachments have taken place in other parts of the city as well. We have been promised, they too would join in with their issues”, said a participant in the protest walk.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the anti-Nirma agitation may take a political colour. Kanubhai Kalasaria, a senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and a former BJP MLA, who was earlier involved in activism against the Nirma Cement Plant in Mahuva taluka of Bhavnagar district, has lent in his his support.
Following Kalsaria, who has been visiting the protesters, other AAP activists have, too, have joined in. One of them, Amish Thaker, told Counterview, “AUDA has accepted that this is an illegal encroachment and has issued four notices to Nirma, threatening to destroy the encroachment. However, nothing has happened so far.”

Comments

TRENDING

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Moving towards sustainable development? Social, environmental implications of HCES data

By Dr Vandana Sehgal, Dr Amandeep Kaur*  Sustainable development, the high time agenda, encompasses economic, social, and environmental dimensions, aiming for a balance between all these aspects to ensure long-term well-being and prosperity for all. One of the crucial aspects of sustainable development is consumption patterns. Consumption patterns refer to the way individuals, households, and societies use resources and goods. Sustainable consumption patterns entail using resources efficiently, minimizing waste, and considering the environmental and social impacts of consumption choices.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

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. 

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.