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Archives for : Mehsana

Not a Good Idea, SIRji – Gujarat Farmers to Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi‘s decision to set up SIRs receives disapproval from farmers

Mitul Thakkar, ET Bureau Aug 11, 2013, 04.00AM IST
(Farmers of Vithalapur village…)

For many decades the sleepy town of Becharaji in Gujarat’s Mehsana district was known only for its temple dedicated to Bahuchara Mata. However, it is the local farmers who’re hogging the headlines now.

They are protesting the Gujarat government’s move to convert cultivable land into a ‘special investment region’ (SIR). The 630-sq-km Mandal-Becharaji SIR, a proposed textile and automobile hub, will house India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki. Its plant will be spread over 647 acres in Hansalpur village.

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has assured farmers that his government would take them into confidence before a decision is taken on August 15. He has formed a committee that includes four of his ministers and chief secretary AK Sharma to strike a consensus with farmers in Becharaji.

Modi, who drew global attention by attracting Ratan Tata to set up shop to manufacture the world’s cheapest car in Gujarat, is himself facing a Singur-like movement against at least half a dozen projects. Not just big-ticket SIR projects, people are against land acquisition for even Raksha Shakti University in Dehgam. The state government is non-committal on the unrest at Becharaji.

“The CM has promised that those who want to continue farming will not be disturbed. Others who want to sell their land to industries are free to do so,” says energy and petrochemicals minister Saurabh Dalal, who is one of the four cabinet ministers in the panel set up to deal with the Becharaji issue.

PROTESTS GROW LOUDER

Meanwhile, social activists and farmers’ organisations are not willing to give up their agitation. In fact, they have devised novel methods of protest, including dunking a Maruti car at the proposed Maruti plant site. They are also asking parents not to send their children to state-sponsored programmes marking Independence Day. “People are fighting against forced land acquisitions in over a dozen places in Gujarat.

It is time for us to join hands to strengthen our movement,” says Lalji Desai whose voluntary initiative Maldhari Rural Action Group is leading a movement in Becharaji. Activists opposing a host of projects including the Hazira SIR, the 6,000-mw nuclear power project in Mithivirdi and Nirma’s cement plant in Mahuva have lent their support to Becharaji farmers.

Led by former MLA Kanubhai Kalasaria who left BJP due to differences with Modi, the Gujarat Khedut Samaj (GKS) representatives too will participate in Independence Day protests in Becharaji. Modi has a lot to worry. First is his image of a proindustry leader. His government had announced plans to set up at least a dozen SIRs with a minimum area of 100 sq km. The fact that the farmers’ agitation is being held in his home district of Mehsana hasn’t helped matters. The bigger worry is that the agitations may spread and also translate into a protest against the SIR Act 2009. The Act makes it easier for the government to acquire land from farmers. Protests in south Gujarat have already compelled Modi to go on the back foot and put plans for Hazira SIR on hold in 2010.

A small matter of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, an RSS affiliate, making pro-farmer noises has added to the deepening gloom. GKS general secretary Jayesh Patel who led the movement against the government decision to set up the Hazira SIR says that the SIR Act is an unparallel law that replaces the district collector with development authority in the earmarked area.

 

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Gujarat- Dalit woman sarpanch who ‘stands against’ predecessors sent to jail #Vaw

Parimal Dabhi : Lakhvad (Mehsana), Thu Apr 18 2013, IE
MehsanaThe main entrance of Lakhvad village, around 3-4 kilometres from Mehsana.

A dalit woman sarpanch from Lakhvad village of Mehsana district, Kamla Makwana, her husband, their son and two others were arrested late Tuesday on the basis of a recent complaint of breach of trust and criminal intimidation lodged by former deputy sarpanch Ratilal Patel. They were later sent to Mehsana district jail after a local magisterial court rejected their bail petitions.She had reportedly filed multiple complaints of harassment against her predecessor from locally dominant Patel community, Prahlad Patel, and his then deputy, Ratilal Patel. Both Ratilal and Prahlad allegedly didn’t want to let Kamla function as the village Sarpanch.

Following the arrest, the jailed woman sarpanch now wants to resign after getting fed up of the harassment she has been subjected to by her predecessors, sources said.

Kamla was elected as the sarpanch of Lakhvad Gram Panchayat in January last year under the Gujarat government’s Samras Yojna where instead of electing, villagers are selecting the sarpanch and other members of the gram panchayat. However, she allegedly started facing harassment at the behest of Prahald who was the Sarpanch of the village before her.

She made a number of complaints to different authorities like the district development officer, state Human Rights Commission and local police. The complaints include evidence to prove that Prahlad had been misusing the old letterheads of the gram panchayat and issuing various certificates to the villagers while forging Kamla’s signature. She also lodged two complaints against Prahald and Ratilal under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

However, on April 3, Ratilal Patel, who was deputy sarpanch in the village when Prahald was sarpanch, lodged a criminal complaint against Kamla, her husband Kachra Makwana, son Bharat, and two friends — Bharat Patel and Ramila Patel — with Mehsana taluka police station.

According to the complaint, the Makwanas wanted to get loan of Rs 1.80 lakh from the Scheduled Caste Development Corporation to buy a rickshaw in 2004. And Ratilal — under the recommendation of Bharat Patel and Ramila Patel — had become a guarantor for the same on the basis of one of his land pieces. He alleges that the Makwanas assured him of paying regular instalments for the loan.

However, the Makwanas alleges Ratilal did not pay the instalments for the loan and in 2013 when he asked them to pay it so that the government dues on his land could be cleared, they allegedly threatened him and did not pay the amount. Ratilal has accused the Makwanas and Patels of breach of trust, criminal intimidation and abetment.

On Tuesday, Sub-Inspector of Mehsana taluka police station, D K Rathod, reportedly asked the five to get their statements recorded in the case and when they went to police, the five were arrested and produced before a magisterial court. Immediately, their advocate, Jayanti Parmar, moved bail petitions. However, Parmar said the petitions were rejected, following which they were sent to Mehsana district jail.

Kamla’s younger son, Manoj (22), and his wife Sonal, are now the only members of the family out. “This entire case has been fabricated to harass my mother as she did not agree to be a puppet in the hands of Prahlad Patel after being elected Sarpanch. The entire state machinery of Mehsana is working against us at the behest of Prahlad who openly boasts closeness to some top politicians in the Gujarat government,” Manoj said.

However, Ratilal denied the allegations and said, “I had mortgaged my land to the Scheduled Caste Development Corporation for this family to buy a rickshaw. They did not pay the instalments of the loan for nine years. And if they do not pay the instalment, it is possible that my land is auctioned by the state government. I asked them repeatedly to pay the amount and when they did not do so, I had to file the complaint.”

The investigation officer in the case, S I Rathod, said the police have acted completely on the merits of the case. Manoj met his mother in jail Wednesday. “She is very disturbed and has decided to resign from the post. She told me that it is better to live a peaceful life than to indulge in public life,” he said.

 

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Narendra Modi Fakes Narmada Canal High Income Story in Worst Drought Year #mustshare

There was story of ‘Gujaratis don’t have money to spend on education’ on Sep25 within a week Modi planted FAKE story of High Income of farmers in Narmada Canal command area.

This Education Year farmers in Gujarat ‘Invested in Raising New Crops’ but Monsoon was delayed by two months and there was 60% to 80% crop loss.

CAG had reported in normal rainfall year – Narmada Canal served just 6.56% of Narmada Command area or  utilization of 1.2 lakh hectares out of 18 lakh hectares 2009-10 but dubious Private Institute claimed farmers have more money to spend and claimed 6 lakh hectares utilization. 

Gujaratis don’t have money to spend on education: National Survey

TNN Sep 25, 2012

AHMEDABAD: How much can a parent spend for higher education for their children in the state? The National Sample Survey (NSS) report, “Key Indicators of Household Consumer Expenditure in India”, in 2011 had revealed that Gujarat’s average monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) – considered measure of the ability to spend – is just a paltry Rs 1,110 in rural areas, and unimpressive Rs 1,909 in urban areas.

Higher education fees run into lakhs of rupees, which makes it inaccessible to a large section of society. The 2011 NSS report suggests that Gujarat’s MPCE in rural areas is lower than seven other states, including Kerala, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.

Things are not rosy in urban Gujarat, too. If Gujarat ranks eighth in rural MPCE, the state’s urban MPCE rank is tenth and states including Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana are way ahead. Worse, on both the counts, Gujarat has slipped since 2005, the NSS study suggests.

“Ironically, the state government had worked out an average per capita income of Rs 45,000 in 2009-10, but interestingly, the spending power is just a paltry Rs1,100 per capita per month. This only points to a large economic gap in the society,” says a senior state government official.

Gujaratis don’t have money to spend on education: National Survey

Narmada brings sharp rise in incomes

Farmers Spending More On Kids’ Education; Expenditure On Nutrition Has Increased: Study

Rajiv Shah TNN Oct 01, 2012
Gandhinagar: A high-level study carried out by Hyderabad-based Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy has said that thanks the availability of Narmada waters, incomes of the farmers have substantially gone up in about six lakh hectares (ha) where canal waters have reached since 2007. Just submitted to the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), the study says that farmers who have shifted to cash crops have particularly gained. Their net incomes from cotton increased by Rs 70,977 per ha in Bharuch, Rs 69,399 per ha in Vadodara, and Rs 49,568 per ha in Panchmahal.
From castor, an exceptionally high increase in net income was in Bharuch (Rs 94,279 per ha). From fennel grown in Mehsana, it was Rs 55,363 per ha, from cumin in Surendranagar, which was introduced after the arrival of canal water, the farmers started earning Rs 49,350 per ha on an average. But for foodgrains, the incomes didn’t rise as much. “From wheat, farmers secured a higher net return ranging from Rs 4,505 per ha in Panchmahal to Rs 15,052 in Vadodara.”
However, the study admits, “The effect of inflation on net income is not factored in while estimating the income change”, even as claiming, “The effect of inflation on change in net income from crops is not expected to be high, as the time lag between pre-Narmada and post-Narmada situations ranges from a minimum of two years in most locations.”
The study covers locations where the canal networking has been completed and waters reach fields by gravity, and also those (like in Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Surendranagar) where farmers siphon off water straight from the Narmada canal by sinking up to three km long pipelines.
The study says that average per capita income of people in the Narmada command area, too, has gone up substantially. “The largest increase was seen in Surendranagar (from Rs 65,526 to Rs 2.01 lakh), followed by Bharuch (from Rs 1.76 lakh to Rs 3.37 lakh), Mehsana (Rs 1.02 lakh to Rs 2.29 lakh), and Ahmedabad (Rs 1.19 to Rs 1.90 lakh)”, it says.
The study argues, “With increase in annual income from farming, the families have started spending more money on children’s education. The expenditure on family nutrition has also increased substantially.” It says, “Literacy data from Census 2011 shows that districts which are already being served by Sardar Sarovar Narmada Project have recorded high decadal growth in literacy in comparison to the state figures.”
It adds, “Between 2001 and 2011, literacy rate increased from 51% to 66% in Banaskantha, 60% to 73% in Narmada, 60% to 71.5% in Kutch, 61% to 72% in Panchmahal, 62% to 73% in Surendranagar, and 72% to 84% in Kheda district.”

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=73098

Annexure-II

 Average MPCEMMRP and food share: major States, 2009-10
State rural urban
average MPCE  (Rs.) per capita food exp. (Rs.) % share of food in cons. exp. average MPCE  (Rs.) per capita food exp. (Rs.) % share of food in cons. exp.
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
Bihar 780 505 64.7 1238 655 52.9
Chhattisgarh 784 456 58.2 1647 720 43.7
Orissa 818 507 61.9 1548 749 48.4
Jharkhand 825 503 60.9 1584 816 51.5
Uttar Pradesh 899 521 57.9 1574 728 46.3
Madhya Pradesh 903 504 55.8 1666 694 41.7
West Bengal 952 604 63.5 1965 907 46.2
Assam 1003 646 64.4 1755 929 52.9
Karnataka 1020 577 56.5 2053 869 42.3
All-India 1054 600 57.0 1984 881 44.4
Gujarat 1110 640 57.7 1909 882 46.2
Maharashtra 1153 623 54.0 2437 999 41.0
Tamil Nadu 1160 635 54.7 1948 876 45.0
Rajasthan 1179 647 54.8 1663 798 48.0
Andhra Pradesh 1234 717 58.1 2238 1002 44.8
Haryana 1510 815 54.0 2321 1001 43.1
Punjab 1649 795 48.2 2109 933 44.3
Kerala 1835 843 45.9 2413 970 40.2

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Mehsana, Shame of India!

North Gujarat Town Has Lowest Child Sex Ratio In The Country

Ahmedabad: Mehsana town has notched the shameful distinction of having the lowest child sex ratio among urban centres in India. With only 760 girls per 1,000 boys in the 0-6 year age group, Mehsana has hit the lowest ebb on the gender index, according to just-released Census 2011 figures. 

The town, with a population of 1.9 lakh, has 7,753 girls against 10,203 boys in the 0-6 year age group. With a literacy rate of 90% and dominated by influential and affluent Patels, this is a reflection of a strong bias against the girl child in this north Gujarat town. The Census figures are available for towns with more than one lakh population.

Mehsana is the only city from Gujarat that figures on the list having a child sex ratio less than 800. Mehsana is followed by twin cities Sonipat and Bahadurgarh of Haryana that have child sex ratio of 784. In fact, Haryana has
three cities with less than 800 child sex ratio, the third one being Rohtak (793 girls). Agra, in UP, too reflects little love for the girl child – it has only 790 girls per 1,000 boys.

Unfortunately, Mehsana’s national infamy is a continuation of the alarming situation unearthed in 2001, when it was revealed that the district had a low child sex ratio of 801.
While the district has improved its tally in 2011 to 845, the main town continues to languish. Gujarat’s sex ratio has only marginally improved from 883 girls per thousand boys in 2001 to 886 in 2011. Social activists say  getting a sex determination test on the sly is easy for most well-off families in north Gujarat where the gender bias is strong.

Mehsana district collector Rajkumar Beniwal says there are 90 registered sonography machines in the town. Of these, seven machines were sealed in the past under Pre-Conception Pre Natal Diagnostics Test Act. Beniwal has been sending letters to each pregnant mother urging them not to discriminate between a boy and a girl and also informing them that sex determination is illegal.

“The Patel community introduced fee waivers for educating the girl child and promoting awareness against sex determination. But the damage done in the past continues to reflect even now. We have to make more efforts to bring a social change,” says Anil Patel, former minister and president of Umiya Mataji Mandir Sansthan, the trust of the local deity revered by Patels.


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