Gujarat Traders Organise Rally, Demand Relaxation in Land Ownership Rules in Gandhidham

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

June 30, 2021

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Traders and businessmen of Gandhidham took out a rally in the town on December 7, 2018, demanding the lifting of restrictions on land ownership that they believe are hindering development. The rally was backed by 124 local associations. With the continuous development of the Deendayal Port and the inauguration of Adani's Tuna Tekra terminal three years ago, trade and industry in and around Gandhidham have flourished. This has led to an increased demand for land in the area. However, restrictions on transfer fees, mortgage, etc. make land purchase burdensome, in addition to keeping the land prices artificially high. To protest this, in December 2018, traders and businessmen in Gandhidham marched to the office of the Deendayal Port Trust (DPT) under the banner of Gandhidham Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and submitted a memorandum in which they demanded a reduction in the mortgage and transfer fees as well as a conversion of leasehold land into freehold land in the town. The GCCI also demanded that commercial and industrial land, which is currently leasehold land, should be converted into freehold land so that land and property holders become their true owners. The ruler of erstwhile Kutch state had allotted 30,000 acres of land to the Union government for the development of the Deendayal Port and the GandhidhamAdipur twin towns to rehabilitate members of the Sindhi community who had migrated to Kutch after Partition in 1947. Presently, DPT, a trust functioning under the Union Ministry of Shipping, controls around 30,000 acres of land, while the Sindhu Resettlement Corporation (SRC) controls around 4,000 acres. The DPT and SRC lease plots of land to individuals and businesses for development and collect lease rents from them. If the holder of such a lease plot transfers that plot to another party, the DPT charges a transfer fee. Similarly, the DPT also collects a mortgage fee from plot holders who mortgage their property for the purpose of availing bank loans etc. Nimish Phadke, managing director of the Federation of Kutch Industries Association, said that during 1947, the charges and fees were just a token. "Now, Kandla is one of the major ports of India and the land parcel is quite valuable. Since the port trust owns the land now, it does not want to hand it over. It may want to hold on to it for future expansion," he added. During the protest, the DPT chairperson announced that the demands of the traders' body were under consideration. In March 2020, DPT proposed revision of the rate structure to the Tariff Authority for Major Ports, suggesting a two per cent increase in lease rent of all land except those falling under the categories of A, D3, D4 and G1, and it was approved by the authority in January 2021. However, GCCI has opposed it, stating that the pandemic has not been taken into consideration in the land valuation and that the categorisation of land is being done arbitrarily.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for lease-hold land to be converted into freehold land

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Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict


Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. Major Port Trusts Act, 1963

    Section 47A: [Creation of the Tariff Authority for Major Port Trusts]

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

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Out of Court

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Nature of Protest

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Union Ministry of Shipping, Indian Ports Association, Deendayal Port Trust, Sindhu Resettlement Corporation

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Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Gandhidham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

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