On 17th May 2005, Gujarat government has passed resolution saying that, 45.6 lacks hectors of wasteland will be allotted to industrial houses and big farmers on lease for 20 yrs for corporate farming. Industrial houses and big farmers are suppose to cultivate this land with the help of modern technology and moreover, GR says that value added projects can be set up in the allotted lands without having NA clearance
In reality, the land which is recognized as ‘wasteland’ (especially cultivable wasteland around 18 lac hectors) in the books of the government is being tilled by dalits, OBCs, small and marginal etc. Government considers this as and encroachment and charges fine from the tiller.
The resolution of the government will affect more than 51 lacs landless farmers/labourers that depend on wasteland for charcoal making, grazing, fuel etc.
Hundreds of land less labourers, Maldharis, small and marginal farmers have raised their vice and demanded cancellation of the GR retrospectively. Several meetings, conventions, rallies, and Dharanas are being held in the districts like Kutch, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Surendranagar where government have identified the survey numbers to be allotted to the industrial houses . Under the banner of “Zamin Bachao Andolan” village committees have being formed which are mobilizing people for making applications to the government to cancel the resolutions. Parallel to this, hundreds of applications are also being made to demand the wasteland for agriculture. Lok Sangharsh Samiti is giving leadership to this movement and being supported by other state level/issue based networks.
Meanwhile, the data regarding the land which has been marked by the government for allotment to industrial houses was asked under RTI. The data revealed that neither government have made any specific study of the scheme where such wasteland was being allotted to cooperative societies of the women, self help groups, nor did they have reason and logic to say that these scheme was failure. The data was widely shared in the state, which gave boost to the movement.
Workshop on Land Rights and Poor:
One–day workshop was organized on Globalizations and land rights where more than 55 representatives from voluntary organizations participated in the discussion. Workshop invited well-known academicians like Indiraben Hirway, Socail researchers Vinay Mahajan, and activitists like Kalubhai Dangar, Indukumar Jani, and many others. Participants discussed at length about he changes in land related legislations, especially in Gujarat for past few years. Presentation by Vinay Mahjan helped the participants to understand these changes as part