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Gujarat Govt to retrieve 108 hectares of grazing land allotted to Adani port

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Gujarat Govt to retrieve 108 hectares of grazing land allotted to Adani port
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The Gujarat government has decided to retrieve 108 hectares of cattle grazing land in the Kachchh region, which had been allotted to Adani Ports by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2005, as per the direction from the Gujarat High Court.

This decision marks a significant development in a longstanding dispute involving the villagers of Navinal and the influential Adani Group.

The controversy began in 2005 when the BJP government, then led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, allotted the land for the Mundra Port Special Economic Zone project. The allocation went largely unnoticed by the villagers until 2010 when Adani Ports began fencing off the area. Traditionally used by the villagers for cattle grazing, the loss of this land prompted them to file a public interest litigation (PIL) in 2011.

The villagers' petition challenged the government's allocation, arguing that it drastically reduced the available grazing land. According to the petition, approximately 732 animals required about 130 hectares for grazing, but after the allocation to Adani Ports, only 17 hectares remained available. This reduction posed a significant threat to the villagers' livelihood and the well-being of their cattle.

Initially, the Modi government proposed granting around 387 hectares of government land and 85 hectares of village panchayat land for cattle grazing. However, discrepancies in this offer led to a recall application and the restoration of court proceedings. The persistent efforts of the petitioners eventually brought the issue back to the court.

In April 2023, the Gujarat High Court mandated the state government to take necessary steps to resolve the matter. The court emphasized the state's duty to replenish the gauchar land in Navinal village. Following this directive, a two-judge bench led by Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal gave the state's revenue department and the collector of Kachchh a final opportunity to comply with the court's order by filing an affidavit.

On July 5, 2024, the state government presented a proposal to address the issue. As a result, the court ordered the resumption of 108 hectares from Adani Ports to make up for the deficit in gauchar land. This decision marks a crucial victory for the villagers of Navinal, ensuring the restoration of their traditional grazing land and setting a precedent for similar disputes in the future.

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TAGS:Adani GroupNarendra ModiGujarat High CourtAdani Ports
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