Farmers Demand Back Land Acquired for Salt Production in Gujarat

Reported by

Aditi Patil

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

May 3, 2018

May 3, 2018

Updated on

May 3, 2018

Location of Conflict

Rajula Jafrabad

Amreli

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Industry

Salt production

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

500000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2017

State

Gujarat

Sector

Industry

The residents of Pipavavdham, Victor, Kathirvadar and Chanch villages have alleged that Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Limited (GHCL) has been producing salt illegally after the company's lease period had expired and was not renewed by the government. The salt pans are spread over five villages, for which grazing land was taken over.
In May 2018, protesting villagers went on a hunger strike in front of Rajula Mamlatdar's office demanding back their land, which was leased to GHCL for salt production. They have also stopped sending their children to school in protest. Villagers claim that salinity in land has increased and there is a severe freshwater crisis because of these salt pans.
Earlier, over 5,000 people were working in GHCL but owing to modernisation, the company had terminated their contracts. On this account, the villagers either want their land back or have demanded that the salt pans be handed over to the village cooperative society so that they can get employment. GHCL has filed its renewal application in the prescribed time, and it is pending with the state government.
There are nearly 12,500 saltpans along the coastal belt of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch; the lease of nearly 80 per cent of these pans has not been renewed for a decade. The saltpan leaseholders blame the state government policy for creating obstacles in the renewal process. 
The state government had started allotting land on lease for salt production in 1964. The production and supply was traditionally regulated by the salt commissioner’s office in Jaipur. In 2005, the government changed the policy for renewal and closed this office, giving authority to respective state governments to deal with matters related to the salt industry. This has resulted in local revenue officials, who have no expertise in the subject, granting leases and renewals.
President of the Indian Salt Manufacturer's Association, B.C. Raval, said, “The whole process of lease renewal, which was earlier done at the level of district collector, has been centralised at Gandhinagar. Collectors had the power to renew leases for land less than 10 acres. But now they ask us to produce no-objection certificates from the Border Security Force, forest department and Gujarat Maritime Board. Small saltpan owners, who are salt workers themselves, cannot reach Gandhinagar and because of these hurdles, almost 80 per cent saltpans are being operated without lease renewals."
Salt manufacturers are also demanding a separate salt law and the appointment of a nodal agency to that end, since unclear guidelines are making renewals solely dependant on the revenue officials' interpretation of laws. The demands remain unaddressed till date.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for employment

Demand to get back acquired land

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for a separate salt law and appointment of a nodal agency and demand for the salt pans to be handed over to village co-operative society for employment.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

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

Legislations/Policies Involved

Quality Control and Inspection Act, 1963
Section 13 [Delegation of powers to any officer by the Union government]
No. 05013/5/90/Salt, Ministry of Industry, Department of Industrial Development Salt Section, dated August 31, 1990
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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:

Use of old/outdated laws

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

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

Hunger strike

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Development of a network or collective

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Local Community

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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