The government of Gujarat has okayed Nirma’s controversial Mahuva cement plant. State Finance minister Vajubhai Vala and minister of state for power and industry Saurabh Patel announced this today at Bhavnagar in a press conference.
The ministers said that about 54 hectares land would be excluded from the proposed plant’s total land allotment. They said Nirma’s cement plant will create employment for about 9,500 people.
It should be mentioned here that Nirma’s cement plant is massively opposed by local villagers. Villagers and farmers of around a dozen villages led by Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria, BJP MLA of Mahua in Saurashtra have launched an agitation against the Gujarat government’s decision to grant over 268 hectare lands to the Nirma industry for setting up a cement plant. The land granted includes government wasteland, a waterbody spread over 100 hectares and grazing lands in the villages like Amlia, Gajarda, Delia and Dudheri, which are located on the coastal area of Mahuva block in Bhavnagar district.
According to Kalsaria, the main reason to oppose the industry project is that there are two dams coming up in the area, which would provide water for agriculture. “The government authorities are saying the area is under salinity and land is not fertile for agriculture,” Kalsaria said, adding, “We, farmers, have been telling that once dams are constructed, water would be available for irrigation and this land is very fertile.”
The Government of Gujarat appointed a high-power committee to look into Nirma Cement Project controversy in May. The committee visited site of Nirma’s proposed Cement Plant and met agitating villagers. The committee appointed by the government, headed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s adviser S.K.Shelat had total five members: S.J.Desai(Secretary, Irrigation department), C.L.Meena(President, Gujarat Pollution Control Board), A.B.Panchal(Ex Collector, Bhavnagar) and K.N.Patel(Retired Geologist).
The exect conclusions of report are not in public domain as of now.