Saturday, January 30, 2010


Agitations and protests by farmers whose land holdings are being usurped by the government in the name industrial development are on the increase in India lately. Forcing Tata Motors to shift their Nano car production facilities from West Bengal to Gujarat is an example of the virulence of such farmer organized agitations. With massive investments being made in SEZs, Technology Parks, Food Parks etc, more and more land will be required and state governments take up the responsibility in providing land to investors while inviting them to their regions. Why agricultural land is being taken over, that too paying meager compensation to the poor farmers is some thing that defies logic. Gujarat is an example where only land not suitable for economic farming is being given for industrial development.

'"n analysis of Gujarat's industrial areas will clearly show the approach of the Government of Gujarat has been to facilitate industrial development in areas that are not productive for agriculture. Industrialization in double-crop areas has been avoided and industrial areas have been located in coastal saline areas and other less fertile land".

In a country where food availability is progressively shrinking while the population is increasing, such diversion of land to non-agricultural purpose is bound to compromise the food security of the country. Governments, both at the state as well as the central level, are in possession of millions of hectares of land which could be easily utilized, in stead of allowing land mafias to grab them under the benign policy that exists to day.


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