DNA, Ahmedabad, 2 October 2013

Ahmedabad: Residents of 70 villages will congregate at Indravarna village to protest against several issues, particularly those related to land acquisition mooted by the Kevadia Area Development Authority (KADA). The main bone of contention between the administration and the villagers is the acquisition of land from 68 villages to develop tourist facilities in the region.

The villagers are also protesting construction of Garudeshwar Weir which, they say, will affect 12 villages.

“KADA is willing to take away fertile land of the farmers to make facilities for the tourists. The government has written to the sarpanch of these villages seeking their consent for the same. In the letter, the villagers have been asked to reply within a week or else the government will proceed with the assumption of implied consent,” said Rohit Prajapati, an environmental activist. He said that the government was also not clearly stating how much land it planned to acquire from each village.
Another protest is over the construction of Gurdeshwar weir which, he said, lacked environmental clearance.

“Apart from the fact that the weir will rob 12 villages of their land, the government has started construction of the structure even before it got an environment clearance,” said Prajapati.

Lakhan Musafir, one of those who are spearheading the protest, said that the government was keen on developing tourism but is yet to respond to demands for water from the Narmada canal for the villages.

“The affected villages in the area have two dams yet do not have access to Narmada canal water. The government is purposely not making a policy to give them water as without water, the farmers will agree to sell the land,” said Musafir.

Villagers to protest Kevadia land acquisition

l Six villages that were affected during the Sardar Sarovar Dam project were not considered as project-affected way back in 1961-63. The villagers are demanding land for themselves.

l They want the construction of Gurdeshwar weir to stop as it will affect 12 villages. The weir also does not have the required environment clearance

l Dismantle KADA as developing a tourist zone will mean robbing 68 villages of their fertile land

l To ensure that areas in and around Kevadia also have access to Narmada water




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