Traders and businessmen of Gandhidham in Gujarat 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 Adanis 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, 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 Central 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, the 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.
During the protest, the DPT chairman announced that the demands of the traders body were under consideration.