Farmers Divided over Mandal-Becharaji Special Investment Region, 7 Villages Support Gujarat Government

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

Mandal

Ahmedabad

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Textile

Automobile Industry

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

125000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

10200

ha

Starting Year

2013

State

Gujarat

Sector

Industry

The MandalBecharaji Special Investment Region (SIR) in Mehsana district is a proposed cluster of automobile and textile industries on the DelhiMumbai freight corridor. Auto major Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) is setting up a car factory here. Faced with massive protests from farmers and social activists, the government in 2013 decided to exclude 36 of the 44 villages from this proposed project. The area where the SIR is proposed is predominantly an agricultural stretch with no industrial presence. Even after the government narrowed down the number of villages to set up the SIR, three of the remaining eight villages refuse to be a part of this project. Farmers from these three villages have strongly opposed the government's decision and have been rallying against it. They refuse to leave farming, which is their main source of livelihood, and become industrial labourers. "In our village, more than 50 per cent of the land would be gone if the SIR materialises; we would not be left with enough cultivable land to pursue agriculture. We would get a little bit of cash by selling our land, but that will be exhausted soon, and we lose our land, our asset," Samad Thakore, sarpanch of Ughroj village, told journalists. However, some villages stated that they hold a neutral position and are not particularly against the project. The land records of the government show the notified area as government wasteland, however, the villagers have been cultivating this land for over 60 years. The land records of the villages show that this area was allocated for farming, leading them to believe that this is a ploy to snatch their lands. In January 2014, farmers from Vithalpur and Hanslapur organised a cattle rally but were lathicharged and restrained. In March 2014, farmers of Hanslapur and civil society representatives staged a protest in front of the Ahmedabad High Court. This led to the removal of most villages from the SIR but issues regarding the withdrawal of the SIR notification, removal of MSIL from the project site and reversal of the process of decommanding of the Narmada command area remain. In June 2019, the state government decided to fasttrack the project after downsizing it further to settle protests. In December 2020, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani virtually inaugurated the MandalBecharaji SIR Development Authority''s building at Hansalpur. Interestingly, in August 2019, seven of the villages that exited the project in 2013 (Odhavpura, Odhav, Dadhana, Zanzerwa, Kachrol, Anandpura and Sinaj) approached the government requesting to be reinducted into the SIR. They were asked to pass a resolution in their gram sabhas to ensure that a majority of the villagers wanted to be a part of the SIR. The reason for this move remains unknown but officials state that the villages have finally understood the benefits of the SIR.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

5132

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

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 a Special Investment Region by the state government]; Section 6(2)(v): [Responsibility of the Apex Authority to grant permission for economic activities within SIR]; Section 8: [Regional Development Authority has the power to acquire immovable property]
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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:

Land record discrepancies

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:

The government deployed police forces all along the rally route, where the police lathi-charged the cattle herd rallying against the government along with the animals.

Date of Violation

January 18, 2014

Location of Violation

Vithalpur and Hansalpur

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Gujarat, Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

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:

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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