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

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

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. 

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

How GMOs would destroy non-GMO crops: Aruna Rodrigues' key submissions in SC

Counterview Desk The introduction of Bt and HT crops will harm the health of 1 billion Indians and their animals, believes Aruna Rodrigues, who has made some 60 submissions to the Supreme Court (SC) during the last 20 years. As lead petitioner who filed Public Interest Litigation in 2005, during a spate of intense hearings, which ended on 18 January 2024, she fought in the Apex Court to prevent the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Indian agriculture. 

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .

Will Budget 2024 help empower city govts, make them India's growth engines?

By Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, Arjun Kumar* Cities in India are envisioned as engines of growth. Any meaningful long-term vision for India would be incomplete without planning for the cities and quite rightly, urbanization is considered as one of the country’s top developmental challenges. Realization of full potential of cities depends crucially on their ability to provide ‘enabling’ environment especially in terms of sustained provision of a wide range of urban infrastructure and services.

Interpreting UAPA bail provisions: Is Supreme Court setting the clock back?

By Kavita Srivastava*, Dr V Suresh** The Supreme Court in its ruling on 7th February, 2024 in   `Gurvinder Singh v State of Punjab’ held that its own well-developed jurisprudence that "Bail is the rule and jail the exception" will not apply to those charged under the UAPA.

A 'distorted narrative' of Indian politics: Congress failing to look beyond LS polls

By Prem Singh*  About 15 days ago, I told a senior journalist friend that there are not even two   months left for the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi is roaming around on a delectation (tafreeh). The friend probably found my comment exasperating and replied that he is not on a delectation trip. The conversation between us on this topic ended there.