Farmers’ plight in Gujarat pathetic insists Khedut Samaj

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One more farmers’ movement against the government; Villages merged into AUDA since 2009 up in arms

Bilkulonline.com, Ahmedabad, May 26: The Secretary of Khedut Samaj-Gujarat, Sagar Rabari, has issued a press statement that:
In 2009, GoG through a notification had brought 68 villages (43 villages of Kalol and 25 from Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar talukas) with a total area of 625 sq. kms. (62,500 hectares) into the AUDA boundary.
 
In the beginning the farmers were happy with this since they expected many basic amenities to be made available to them. After 8 years and the situation remaining as it was, the farmers have today realised that it is nothing but another ploy by the government to appropriate their land in the name of ‘development’.
 
While on the one hand their situation has not changed for the better, on the other merger into AUDA and consequent mutation of their new tenure land into old tenure has brought about a sharp appreciation in the value of their land due to increased jantri rates. The farmers with a large amount of new tenure land have thus had to endure a major financial blow. Panchayati raj institutions have been rendered redundant. Wealth tax and electricity bills have gone up. The village residential area has been limited and future expansion will be difficult. 
 
The experience of so many years has shown that the lands purchased by big industrial houses – Adanis, Arvind Mills etc. – easily gets converted into NA, their plans are just as easily passed and construction also happens in no time. Those considered close to powers-that-be can get entire zones changed in their favour while the ordinary farmer is made to run from pillar to post seeking mere change of purpose from Agriculture to None Agriculture. 
The people of these villages feel that if TP schemes of AUDA get implemented they will lose 40% of their land, the village gauchar and wasteland will automatically, at no cost, be claimed by AUDA and the villages will most certainly have to lose their income worth several crores of rupees from dairying. The AUDA notification therefore is not ‘development’ but ‘destruction’ for them. They fear that they will be impoverished while their land taken away for purported ‘development’ will be handed over to the big industrialists. 
Seeing the success of movements against SUDA, BUDA, RUDA, JUDA, NUDA, GUDA, MVUDA, HUDA, as also the ongoing movement against DSIR and the scrapped MBSIR, Olpad SIR and the Hajira SIR the farmers here have realised their mistake in not opposing their merger into AUDA. 
 
The farmers of the area had invited Khedut Samaj-Gujarat to help them better understand the implications of merger into AUDA. Village meetings were held in villages Vayana and Thol and the people present there have opposed the plans of AUDA. There will be more such village meetings in the days to come. 
 
In the meetings at Thol and Vayana villages, the Secretary of KSG, Shri Sagar Rabari made it clear that this will be a totally apolitical movement, of and for the farmers, pastoralists, and will be a democratic, peaceful and non-violent movement. All those in favour of these issues can join the movement. No banners or symbols of any political party will be allowed. Political leaders, if they so wish, may support the movement from outside. 
 
More meetings are planned in the coming days and weeks and farmers and pastoralists are invited to join in large numbers.