Dholera Smart City Project in Gujarat Nears Completion Despite Farmers' Protest, Stay Order

Reported by

Surabhi Bhandari

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 29, 2016

September 29, 2016

Updated on

September 29, 2016

Location of Conflict

Dholera

Ahmedabad

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Smart City

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

39300

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

92000

ha

Starting Year

2012

State

Gujarat

Sector

Infrastructure

The Gujarat government acquired around 28,000 hectares of land to build a smart city in the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) in Ahmedabad district, along the DelhiMumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Developed by the UKbased global consultancy firm Halcrow in 2010, the smart city project was handed over to global infrastructure giant AECOM for implementation by the DMIC Development Corporation in 2013. Farmers across 22 villages, with a population of around 39,300, in the south of Ahmedabad were served notices citing the Gujarat Special Investment Region Act, 2009, depriving them of 50 per cent of their land they have been owning for generations. While this land is to be 'deducted' from each owner at market price, the rest will be returned to them as 'developed' plots in designated zones. Furthermore, a 'betterment charge' will be levied on these farmers for the new infrastructural facilities being provided and will be deducted from the compensation amount. Each affected family was also promised a job. In a public hearing held in 2014, the DSIR Development Authority said that compensation for the deducted land will be paid to farmers based on the _jantri _(governmentassessed value of land) rates of April 2011. The farmers mobilised against the DSIR. They submitted several petitions to the authorities, requesting for their villages to be exempted from the project. They also flagged that Dholera is a lowlying area and was submerged for three days during the 2019 monsoons. In December 2015, the Gujarat high court stayed the government from acquiring agricultural land in Dholera. Farmers alleged that despite this stay order, the DSIR authorities continued town planning activities. In 2019, the high court sought explanation from the state about these allegations. However, the project went on, and in March 2021, the chief minister announced that 85.79 per cent of the total planned work in Dholera was completed. The main issue here steams from the DMIC adopting a landpooling mechanism for the project. Essentially, it rests on the principle that the development authority temporarily brings together a voluntary group of land owners for planning the region's development. Since there is no land acquisition involved per se, compensation and rehabilitation under the 2013 Land Acquisition Act does not apply. Consent is a prerequisite. The land owners will end up with half their lands, which will increase in value owing to the infusion of infrastructure, hence are not considered to have lost anything. But the farmers in Dholera argue that 50 per cent of the land records in the villages are disputed and that the district administration has not taken any steps to resolve the disputes. They also argue that the development plots allotted to them are floodprone and hence, cannot be used to live, graze cattle or cultivate fields.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

20000

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Gujarat Special Investment Region Act, 2009
Section 3: [Declaration of Special Investment Region]; Section 4: [The Special Investment Region is outside the jurisdiction of the local authority]; Section 24(5): [The Regional Developmental Authority may make provisions for the eviction of occupants from the Special Investment Region]
Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976
Section 80: [Amount to be added or deducted to a person's contribution based on market value]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Incorrect estimation of compensation

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Gujarat

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Gujarat, Dholera Special Investment Development Authority, Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Dholera Industrial City Development Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Halcrow Group Limited, AECOM India Private Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Zaameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat, Bhal Bachao Andolan

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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