Gujarat leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil targeted the state government once again during the debate on the revenue department’s demands on the issue of land given to Adani Group at Mundra. Gohil alleged that 3,15,49,000 sq m of land around Shekhadia village in Mundra taluka of Kutch was sold at the rate of Rs8 per sq m. According to Gohil, this land was later sold by the industrialist at several hundred rupees a sq m. The industrialist grabbed even gochar land. The Gujarat governmen talks about holy cow but gives away gochar land to its favourite industrialists.
“GIDC was given five lakh sq.m of land in the SEZ. But this land was taken back and given to the industrialist. As per central rules, a developer cannot sell the land which he gets for SEZ. This rule was formed in 2005. However, the Gujarat government had its own designs. It did not make changes in the state law. As a result, Mundra Special Economic Zone which got land free, its developers minted money by selling the land at exorbitant prices.”
He said that the revenue department which is supposed to serve the needy people has become a department of troubles for them. “The poor, Dalit, tribal and agricultural labourers do not get land while some favoured industrialists get huge land at throw-away prices.”
According to him, in Bhavnagar, 1,031 hectare of land was given to Tata for an IT park at very low price. All rules were violated in this case. Tata has not done anything. Still government has not taken this land back from Tata, Gohil said.
Similar is the case of Essar, which according to Gohil got 1,125 sq m of land for SEZ for which it had signed an MoU. Essar has withdrawn from the project, but still the government has not taken the land back. “It is the responsibility of the government to regularise Ramnagar Kaliabeth settlement of Bhavnagar because at present the government has no income from it. On the other hand, people have to pay money to ISCON builders for those settlements.” Gohil demanded that the builder be booked under PASA for not providing basic facilities to people here.
Congress MLA Arjun Modhwadia accused the government of giving 1,14,836 acre land on lease to Archian Chemicals at a Rs150 per hectare for saltpan. “A senior BJP leader in Delhi has interests in the company,” he alleged.