1,000 hectares in 60 days: GIDC creates a record of sorts
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In one of the fastest land acquisitions ever conducted, the state government acquired 1,000 hectares in Khoraj village near Sanand in a record 60 days. A phenomenal Rs 1,700 crore was given out as compensation to over 400 farmers for the land acquired from them, during this period. The villagers however, say that the government has acquired over 1300 hectares.
This new parcel of land has been acquired as part of the expansion of Bol industrial zone which is being developed as a "no-effluent zone" in Sanand taluka, about 40 kilometers from Ahmedabad.
"We completed the land acquisition in and around Khoraj village on Sunday. The actual process of acquiring 1000 hectares was completed within two months, which is perhaps the fastest acquisition ever in recent history," said a official from Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), nodal agency for development of industrial estates in the state.
At Rs 1,100 per square meter (about 10.7 square feet), Rs 1.1 crore has been paid on an average as compensation for every hectare acquired in this zone in Ahmedabad district. "The acquisition was totally with the consent of the farmers. There has been no forcible acquisition. We are paying them the best available prices as per the existing market rates," the official told The Indian Express.
"Most of the compensation has gone directly to the farmers, unlike previous instances where a number of middlemen and land sharks have also benefitted," the official added.
This acquisition is for expanding the industrial zone in Sanand where firms, mostly from the manufacturing and automobile sector — including Tata Nano and Ford Motors — have been setting up their base. In 2012, GIDC had hiked the land prices in Sanand GIDC by 20% to Rs 3,225 per square meter for industries.
In the last couple of years alone, GIDC has given over Rs 3,500 crore as compensation to farmers for the 8,200 hectares of land in industrial zones of Dahej (Bharuch), Mandal-Becharaji (Ahmedabad-Mehsana) and Sanand (Ahmedabad). The average price paid to the farmers is about Rs 500-600 per square meter or Rs 50-60 lakh for one hectare. This land acquisition in the last two years has helped swell GIDC's land bank to 37,000 hectares.
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