Saturday, February 12, 2011

Court issues notice to state, Mundra Port SEZ (MPSEZ), Centre on land sale

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Friday issued notices to the state revenue department, the Mundra Port SEZ (MPSEZ), the Centre and Kutch district collector on basis of a PIL filed by people of Navinal village demanding a huge chunk of the grazing land (gaucher), which has been allotted to the company by the government. 
   By way of filing a PIL through advocate Anand Yagnik, the villagers have claimed that the state government had illegally sold out their gaucher land measuring 231-acre to MPSEZ for industrial purpose. They have argued that as per the provision of various notifications and GRs, certain amount of land should be allocated to each village in proportion to number of cattle.
   The villagers have contended that against 512 animals, the village in 2006 required at least 204-acre plot for gaucher. MPSEZ wanted 231-acre and the district revenue authorities sent the proposal to the government, proposing that if the plot is allotted to MPSEZ, at least 159-acre land would have to be given to the village from the 358-acre plot of wasteland lying near the village.
   However, the government did not pay any heed to the proposal and sold the land to the company. The land allotment was part of 854-hectare land sale to MPSEZ, which comprised gauchers and wastelands of 23 villages in Mundra block.
   The villagers have urged the high court to quash and set aside the land deal by which the government handed over 231-acre from gaucher to the company on July 15, 2005. The villagers have sought HC direction for vesting of the land again in Navinal gram panchayat as gauchar.
   The petitioners have also urged the court to direct the company not to carry out any developmental activities including filling up of Kotari creek, dredging and removal of mangrove forests and other trees within the area of MPSEZ till environmental clearance and CRZ is granted by the Centre. 

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