Court serves notice to Kutch port over grazing land

February 11th, 2011 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, Feb 11 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court on Friday issued notices to Mundra Port Special Economic Zone (MPSEZ) and the union and state governments over the sale of village grazing land in Navinal village of Kutch district. Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyaya and Akil Kureshi issued the notice in a public suit filed by Fakir Mammad Suleiman Sameja and others, residents of the village.

The petitioners, through their counsel A.J. Yagnik, submitted that the grazing land sold to MPSEZ, owned by the Adani Group, violated the constitutional provisions and no alternative step has been taken to help the villagers.

Out of 276 acres of the land, the state government sold 231 acres of land to MPSEZ leaving 45 acres for grazing, the petition said.

Even though the state government had acknowledged that the grazing land in Navinal village is inadequate and alternative arrangement is required, no such grazing land has been allocated, the villagers said in the petition.

The inadequacy is to the extent of 712 acres of land considering the number of cows and buffaloes in the village, the court was told.

The accepted ratio is 40 acres of land for 100 grazing cattle. As per the 18th animal census, Navinal village had 1,894 cattle.

The petitioners’ counsel claimed that even at the time when land was demanded by MPSEZ, the collector had informed the state government about inadequate grazing land.

“However, without making alternative arrangement, 231 acres of grazing land and 358 acres of waste land were allocated and sold to MPSEZ, leaving the grazers and the cattle in the lurch. This is in violation of every norm and every law,” the petition said.

The court has posted the matter for March 14.

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