Skip to main content

New threat to tribal farmers? Notification allows Maharashtra govt to take away tribal land without gram sabha nod

Medha Patkar with Ashok Shrimali
By Our Representative
A new danger awaits the rural areas under the influence of the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). If a recent Maharashtra government notification, a copy which is with Counterview, is any indication, it empowers the state government to acquire tribal land for industrial development without seeking any gram sabha nod.
Apprehensions have gone strong, similar notifications may be issued by Gujarat and Rajasthan governments, undermining tribals' forest rights under existing laws, including the Forest Rights Act, 2006, and the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, which make consultation with tribal gram sabhas mandatory.
The notification, which is dated November 14, says, "In villages in Scheduled Areas of the State of Maharashtra, no sanction for purchase of land by mutual agreement, shall be necessary" if such land is "required in respect of implementation of the vital Government projects", adding, the amount of compensation to be paid for such purchase should be "arrived at in a fair and transparent manner."
The expression "vital Government project", the notification says, "means project undertaken by the Central or State Government relating to national or state highways, railways or other multi-modal transport projects, electricity transmission lines, roads, gas or water supply pipelines canals or of similar nature."
These projects, says the notification, could be undertaken by "the state government, a statutory body or an agency owned and controlled by the Central Government or State Government, or a Government company incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 or any other law relating to companies for the time being in force."
Referring to the notification, top social activist Medha Patkar told media in Ahmedabad, the DMIC proposes to take away huge areas, especially of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan, adversely affecting farmers. She sqid, about 60% of the DMIC passes through Gujarat. Farmers', including tribals farmers', livelihood in the entire stretch is in danger. As many as 11 industrial zones have been planned in the DMIC area.
Explained Ashok Shrimali, general secretary, mines, minerals & People (mm&P), a well-known advocacy group, the notification is applicable to the tribal areas, whose large parts in the three states come under DMIC. "We believe the notification, issued in the name of the Maharashtra governor, has the nod of the Government of India. One cannot rule out similar notifications for Gujarat and Rajasthan."
Speaking as representative of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) -- which organised a Kisan Mukti Sansad (Farmers' Freedom Parliament) in Delhi on November 20, where a draft Farmer’s Freedom From Debt Bill, 2017, was announced, seeking complete loan waiver -- Patkar said, " The DMIC in Gujarat and the Narmada main canal overlap."
"While the canal network is not complete, huge amounts have been spent for laying down pipelines carrying Narmada waters for supply to industry. Crores of litres of water are going to corporates, when farmers are being deprived of irrigation water. Coca Cola gets 30 lakh litres of Narmada water per day, and about 60 lakh litres goes to automobile factories", Patkar alleged.
Patkar further said, things have gone difficult for the farmers and fisherfolk after the Narmada dam reached its full height, 128.68 metres. "No waters are flowing down the dam. As a result, for about 80-100 km downstream of the dam, the river has gone dry. Worse, sea ingress has accelerated for tens of kilometres, drying up agricultural areas."

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

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".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

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.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”

Human rights 'abuses': Funding to India should be vetted, Greens tell Australian govt

Counterview Desk
A roundtable organised by Australian Greens, which is the third biggest political group in the country, held to discuss human rights situation in India at the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney has insisted that parliamentarians, human rights activists and lawyers should play a more active role “standing up for human rights not just in their own places but also in India.”

Degrading conditions amidst Covid-19: Toxic ship at Alang, Gujarat, 'endangers' migrants

Counterview Desk
Evironmental activist Dr Gopal Krishna, who edits the ToxicsWatch journal, in an open letter to the chairman, Ship Breaking Scrap Committee, Union Ministry of Shipping, with copies to the joint secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and other Government of India ministries* has said that there exists “threat to Indian maritime environment and security from viral diseases like Covid-19 from ballast water and toxic substances.”