Hundreds of farmers from 104 villages surrounding Vadodadra city took out a huge tractor rally on Thursday to protest against policies of the Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA) and blocked traffic for some time near the VUDA circle.
Under the aegis of Akta Grmain Praja Vichar Manch (AGPVM),a forum fighting for rights of farmers,the protestors gathered at Polo Ground in the afternoon with 60 tractors and tempos,and started their rally.
The rally halted near the Kothi building to submit a memorandum of their demands to Vadodara District Collector Vinod Rao. They demanded that the collector come out of the office to accept their memorandum.
Despite prior intimation,the collector is not in his office to accept our memorandum. This is an example of careless attitude of the state government towards farmers, said Hasmukh Bhatt,convenor of AGPVM,while addressing the rally at the collectorate.
The resident additional collector was also not available in the office,so the deputy district election officer accepted the memorandum.
Later,the farmers marched towards VUDA office in Karelibaug area. As they reached the VUDA circle,police closed the gates of the office. Following this,they blocked traffic on the road for almost an hour until their memorandum was accepted by VUDA chief executive authority NL Pujara.
In the memorandum,the farmers demanded that VUDA drop its proposed policy of reserving 40 per cent area of a plot for commercial purpose while granting development permission to farmers in areas even where a town planning (TP) scheme has not been announced.
However,VUDA officials denied that any such proposal was under consideration.
VUDA chairman Narandas Patel said,Such a policy is being implemented in Ahmedabad,Rajkot and Surat,but no such proposal is under consideration in VUDA. The farmers fear that it would be implemented in Vadodara as well and this was a preemptive action on their part. I suspect that some vested interest are behind this agitation.