Skip to main content

Ahmedabad farmers realize: They were mistaken in allowing urban authority to put up town planning shemes

By Sagar Rabari*
In 2009, the Government of Gujarat, through a notification, had brought 68 villages (43 villages of Kalol and 25 from Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar talukas) with a total area of 625 sq km (62,500 hectares) into the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) boundary.
In the beginning the farmers were happy with this since they expected many basic amenities to be made available to them. After eight years, and the situation remaining as it was, the farmers have today realised that it is nothing but another ploy by the government to appropriate their land in the name of ‘development’.
While on the one hand their situation has not changed for better, on the other, the merger into AUDA and consequent mutation of their new tenure land into old tenure has brought about a sharp appreciation in the value of their land due to increased jantri rates.
The farmers with a large amount of new tenure land have thus had to endure a major financial blow. Panchayati raj institutions have been rendered redundant. Wealth tax and electricity bills have gone up. The village residential area has been limited and future expansion will be difficult.
The experience of so many years has shown that the lands purchased by big industrial houses – Adanis, Arvind Mills etc. – easily gets converted into non-agricultural (NA), their plans are just as easily passed and construction also happens in no time.
Those considered close to powers-that-be can get entire zones changed in their favour, while the ordinary farmer is made to run from pillar to post, seeking mere change of purpose from agriculture to NA.
People of these villages feel that if the town planning (TP) schemes of AUDA get implemented they would lose 40% of their land, the village gauchar and wasteland will automatically, at no cost, be claimed by AUDA, and the villages will most certainly have to lose their income worth several crores of rupees from dairying.
The AUDA notification therefore is not ‘development’ but ‘destruction’ for them. They fear that they would be impoverished, while their land taken away for purported ‘development’ will be handed over to big industrialists.
Seeing the success of movements against the urban development authorities of Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Gandhinagar, Junagadh, and other cities, as also the ongoing movement against the Dholera special investment region (SIR) and the scrapped SIRs of Mandal-Bhechraji, Olpad and Hazira, Ahmedabad farmers here have realised their mistake in not opposing their merger into AUDA.
The farmers of the area had invited Khedut Samaj-Gujarat (KSG) to help them better understand the implications of merger into AUDA. Village meetings were held in villages Vayana and Thol, and the people present there have opposed AUDA’s plans. There will be more such village meetings in the days to come.
In the meetings at Thol and Vayana villages, I made it clear that this will be a totally apolitical movement, of and for the farmers, pastoralists, and will be a democratic, peaceful and non-violent movement. All those in favour of these issues can join the movement. No banners or symbols of any political party will be allowed. Political leaders, if they so wish, may support the movement from outside.
More meetings are planned in the coming days and weeks and farmers and pastoralists are invited to join in large numbers.
---
*General secretary, Khedut Samaj-Gujarat

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Hyderabad-based Urdu university "bars" entry of its new chancellor, who had "initiated" reforms in institute

Counterview Desk
In an unusual controversy, Aslam Parvaiz, vice-chancellor of of the Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) has restricted the entry of its newly appointed Chancellor, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, allegedly because he was trying to initiate reforms, including setting up of a Maulana Azad Center for Composite Culture and Progressive Studies, Model Madrasa, Center for Empowerment of Muslim Women, Course for the Development of Legal Vocabulary and Legal Consciousness in Urdu, and so on.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”