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Saltpan workers' body opposes proposal to turn Rann of Kutch into sprawling lake

Harinesh Pandya, third from right, at the Agariya meet
By Our Representative
The Agariya Hit Rakshak Manch (AHRM), an organization working among Gujarat's saltpan workers, has opposed the proposal to turn the Rann of Kutch into a huge lake. Floated by Jaysukhbhai Patel, managing director, Ajanta-Oreva group, the industrialist claims that once the lake on a 4,900 sq km takes shape, the barren Rann would become arable, and the water problem of entire Kutch-Saurashtra region would be solved.
AHRM chief Harinesh Pandya has said, the industrialist has also shown the dream that the Rann Sarovar would provide employment to locals, who mainly belong to backward classes, land prices would increase, tourism industry would flourish, and animal husbandry and dairy industry would take roots. The idea of lake is reported to have been discussed with chief minister Vijay Rupani, who is said to be positive about the project.
Claims Pandya, there is "no scientific study available on Rann Sarovar, and whatever the industrialist says are mere conjectures." Insisting that if the Rann Sarovar is actually going to help the people of the region, there is no reason to oppose the project, he adds, there is also a need to understand how it would harm those who are living in and around the Rann of Kutch -- farmers, saltpan workers and cattle breeders.
According to Pandya, in 2017, following incessant rains, flood waters entered the Rann of Kutch, as a result of which several areas of Banaskantha, Surendranagar and Morbi districts were saved of unprecedented flooding. "If the Rann is converted into a lake by constructing a barrage, the saltpan workers who produce salt would be left with no employment", he underlines.
This apart, he says, one should remember that the Rann is also wild ass sanctuary, home to about 5,000 wild asses, a rare species. Besides, the proposed Rann would lead to major environmental changes which would adversely impact crops, including cotton, jira, castor, etc., which would be invaded with insects.
Pandya's statement follows a meeting of saltpan workers in Nikamnagar in Dhrangadhra taluka of Surendranagar district, where saltpan workers and farmers' representatives and sarpanches of the villages around the Rann of Patdi, Santalpur, Adesar, Maliya and Kutch decided to oppose Rann Sarovar.

Comments

Atul shah said…
Always be positive for natural claimant like,forest,water,natural energy.if the advantages will be more than immediate action should be taken.

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