MODI PROJECTS : After Mumbai-Metro, Statue of Unity Now Farmers to protest for Dholera SIR

Farmers protests in most of PM Modi’s projects. It may be ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project or tallest Statue of Unity project or another and now Farmers to protest for Dholera SIR from Nov 9.
On November, Activist Sagar Rabari will conduct a march for three days to create awareness among farmers regarding the disastrous impact the SIR will have on their livelihood. While he will mobilise farmers, it will also help him understand issues troubling farmers better.
Dholera SIR farmer protest :
Activist Sagar Rabari will conduct a three-day march beginning November 9 to create awareness about how farmers stand to lose in various town planning (TP) schemes in the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR). According to him, farmers stand to lose about 14,000 hectares of land. The march will reaffirm the stand taken by farmers that they are in opposition to the SIR, come what may.
Rabari claimed that coming up across about 93,000 hectares of land close to the Gulf of Khambhat, the SIR also covers Bhal area, known for its organic wheat, cotton, cumin and gram. Farmers of 22 villages stand to lose extremely fertile land. Rabari told DNA that under the TP schemes of Dholera SIR, farmers will lose 50% of land as margin. “We want to make one thing very clear. Farmers do not want the SIR and will fight it out against the authorities. This is a systematic ploy by the government to snatch away farmers’ land and give it to their favourite industrialists,” said Rabari.
Rabari said that despite a clear-cut order by the Gujarat High Court, the government has continued to serve notices to farmers regarding acquisition of land. The government tried to survey land but failed miserably. Now, SIR officials, under the guise of convincing farmers to part with their land, are actually threatening them.

Farmers protest for Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project

Around 1,000 farmers from Gujarat, whose lands are to be acquired for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, have filed affidavits in the Gujarat High Court, opposing the land acquisition process started by the State government.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice R. Subhash Reddy and Justice V.M. Pancholi, is hearing five separate petitions that challenge the land acquisition for the country’s first high-speed rail project, which is being implemented with financial support from Japan.

The farmers have contended that besides themselves, the project will affect thousands of others who may be cultivating farms that are being acquired for the ₹1.10 lakh crore project. They have also contended that the existing land acquisition proceedings are contrary to the guidelines of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that has provided a soft loan to the Government of India (GoI).

 Tribals Plan Protests for Statue of Unity 

Over 1,500 farmers of four districts – Chhota Udepur, Panchmahals, Vadodara and Narmada – have threatened to drown themselves during the unveiling of the Statue of Unity because they have been waiting 11 years to be paid their dues for sugarcane they sold to a mill that later closed down.

The farmers have made multiple please to the government asking for intervention in the past, and have even taken the matter to court. Since nothing has happened yet, they are planning a protest during the unveiling of Patel’s statue and have even threatened to drown themselves during it.

The Gujarat government had put up posters for the Ekta Yatra to celebrate the completion of the statue, and protesting tribals in the region had torn them down. In their place now, the government has put posters that prominently featured tribal leader Birsa Munda, with smaller photos of Modi and Rupani.
The headmen of 22 villages near the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Monday wrote an open letter to Modi, stating that villagers would not welcome him at the inauguration of the Statue of Unity. Local tribal leaders have also announced a boycott of the function, citing the destruction of natural resources due to the memorial.
“These forests, rivers, waterfalls, land and agriculture supported us for generations. We survived on them. But, everything is being destroyed now and celebrations are also planned. Don’t you think its akin to celebrating someone’s death? We feel so,” the letter stated.
“We villagers want to tell you with extreme grief that we will not welcome you on October 31. Even if you come here like an unwanted guest, you are not welcome here,” it added.
Farmers protest at Bhavnagar for proposed lignite plant : 

About 50 farmers were detained by the police on April this year as hundreds protested the move of a Gujarat government company to take possession of land at a village in Bhavnagar district for a proposed lignite plant.

The local head of a farmers’ group alleged that police manhandled protesters, including women and children, resulting in injuries to at least five people. Some media accounts, however, say 10 people were injured.

The Gujarat Power Corporation Limited had acquired 3,377 acres from nearly 1,250 farmers across 12 villages under Ghogha taluka in Bhavnagar about two decades ago to set up a lignite plant.

However, all these years, the land remained in the possession of farmers who were cultivating it. The farmers have now been opposing the company’s bid to take possession of the acquired land.

The company had sought police protection to take possession of the land when the clash erupted, Bhavnagar superintendent of police Dipankar Trivedi said.

“We detained around 50 people and fired about 50 teargas shells, and also baton-charged protesters near Badi village,” he said.


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