On 20th March 2018, the Gujarat Government, in reply to a starred question by Congress MLAs told the State assembly that 2,754 villages in Gujarat have no gauchar land (community land for grazing of cows and other animals). Of these, 318 villages are in Chhota Udepur district, followed by Dang (310), Mahisagar (225), Valsad (216), Narmada (206) and Banaskantha (197) districts. In 2015, Congress had accused Essar Group of forcibly acquiring farmland and grazing fields in Gujarat's Devbhomi Dwarka district in collusion with the BJP government in the state. Petitions have been filed by 57 villagers of three concerned villages Mota Manda, Nana Manda and Parodhiya. The Gujarat High Court had then issued notices to the state government and Essar Group alleging that the group wrongfully acquired agricultural and grazing land.
In 2012, villagers of Hadiyol near Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha district protested against the state government for taking back 27 acres of land from the village panchayat to set up a medical college. The district revenue department had given this gauchar (pastoral) land to the panchayat in 198384 for residential purpose for Hadiyol. In 2007,32 dalit families applied for plots and were allocated the same with a condition that they have to complete construction within two years. However,in December 2011,the government took back the entire piece of land for breaching these conditions. The same land was subsequently allotted for the construction of a government medical college.
In the same district, villagers from Harsol village had filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court challenging allotment of 40 hectares of grazing land to industries by the state government.
All such encroachments have led to the situation that has arisen now. In the current session's written reply to the Assembly, the state panchayats and rural development minister accepted that 4,725 hectares of gauchar land in 33 districts has been encroached upon. The government also conceded that 57.54 hectares of gauchar land in the Gir sanctuary was encroached upon before 198788 and these encroachments have still not been removed.