Skip to main content

Fresh eviction notices to Gujarat farmers of Dholera region, set aside for smart city, trigger angry protests

By Our Representative
Thousands of farmers living in the Special Investment Region (SIR), Dholera, are again showing signs of unrest following fresh eviction notices served on them to vacate their agricultural plots. Sent under the SIR Act, the notices require the farmers to part with 50% of land.
Enraged farmers, accompanied by women and children, on Tuesday staged a protest at the Town Planning office of the Dholera region, where the Gujarat government is planning a smart city as part of the sprawling Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
The SIR Act, allows the state government to apply provisions of the Town Planning Act, which allows it to acquire 50% of agricultural land for setting up urban facilities in an area where a proposal for town planning scheme has been floated.
In all, the Gujarat government has approved six Town Planning schemes on a 902 sq km Dholera SIR, which includes a smart city. In the latest round, farmers of Town Planning scheme No 1 were sent notices, creating flutter across the region.
The notices were served following reports that Dholera SIR was given environmental clearance to go ahead with setting up smart city and industries in the region.
A farmers’ delegation, which met the Town Planning officer, wondered how he could issue notices to the farmers despite a stay order passed by the Gujarat High Court on December 10, 2015.
Said Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG) secretary Sagar Rabari, who has been fighting for Dholera farmers’ land rights, the Town Planning officer “flustered” and “had no proper answer to give to the farmers”, though “came down to meet them and assured them that their feelings would be communicated to the government.”
Calling the notices “contempt of court”, Rabari said in a statement, the Gujarat High Court order had asked the Gujarat government to maintain status quo in a case filed by several farmers (suit No 227/2014) seeking cancellation of SIR in the Dholera region.
The farmers had sought court intervention over earlier notices served to them in 2014 to part with 50% of land for urban infrastructure. Calling the notices “unconstitutional”, the farmers’ plea wondered how such notices could be served without gram sabha nod.
Rabari accused the Gujarat government of working as agent of big private companies seeking to evict “unarmed farmers”, adding, “Government officials, with the tacit approval of their political masters, are resorting to harassment of farmers despite the High Court stay order.”
“This shows how far the government is prepared to go in order to oppress the farmers, to push them to desperation so that cheap land, labour and water can be made available to the corporate”, he added.
Wondering whether the government is the middleman of the companies and corporate houses, Rabari wondered in his statement as why was the government, “sold to free-market logic, not facilitating a dialogue between the farmers and the corporate sector.”
“The situation is getting tenser with each passing day and very soon the time may come when it may become difficult for the administration to contain the farmers’ anger”, Rabari warned, adding, “People are only demanding that the government wind up its Dholera SIR Authority office and provide Narmada water for irrigation.

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Undoing 'past wrong' at Ayodhya: Will Modi govt hand over Puri temple to Buddhists?

By Shamsul Islam*
While laying the foundation of Ram Janmabhoomi Temple at Ayodhya on August 5, 2020, with the get-up of a prosperous Hindu sage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that wait of Hindus of the world for centuries was over, as Lord Ram’s birthplace has been finally liberated from numerous attempts to destroy it.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Ex-official: Murmu, appointed as CAG, will 'surely' perform shradh of the institution

Counterview Desk
A former senior official of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Shantanu Basu, in a Facebook comment in the wake of the appointment of GC Murmu, a Gujarat IAS cadre official of the 1985, has raised doubts about the independence of CAG following the Government of India move.

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.