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Adanis eye 23 acres of agriculture land for date palm research centre

After Tata Motors got agriculture land belonging to Anand Agriculture University (AAU) for its Nano car project,now Adani Group has approached another agriculture varsity for land to set up a research centre.

Written by Shubhlakshmi Shukla | Ahmedabad |
January 24, 2009 1:21:56 am

The said land belongs to Dantiwada Agriculture University,which also has a research centre near Mundra SEZ being developed by the Adanis

After Tata Motors got agriculture land belonging to Anand Agriculture University (AAU) for its Nano car project,now Adani Group has approached another agriculture varsity for land to set up a research centre.

According to the state government,the Adanis have sought 23 acres of land belonging to Dantiwada Agriculture University (DAU) to establish a Date Palm Research Centre (DPRC). This was discussed at a recent meeting between the three parties — DAU,Adani Group and state Agriculture Department.

The Group has sought land near its Mundra Special Economic Zone (SEZ),as it wishes to carry further their project at the SEZ,such as development of infrastructure and taking up new industrial projects. Gujarat Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani said,“Adani Group has sought the land from DAU,as the latter has a Date Palm Research Institute very close to the SEZ developed by the industrial group.”

Sanghani said that in lieu of the land,the Adanis have shown keenness to develop a laboratory of international status. “I have instructed my department to submit a report,which will evaluate how feasible the demand is,” he added.

While DAU Vice-Chancellor R C Maheshwari did not deny holding the meeting,he said,“I cannot comment on this issue. Please contact the authorities in Gandhinagar.”

University officials,however,said that an official communiqué from the state government was sent to DAU for the meeting at Gandhinagar Sachivalaya. DAU has 150 acres of land at Mundra.

“Already 23 acres of wasteland,which was allotted to DAU by the government,have been allotted to the Adani Group in 1998-2000 to develop a railway line facilitating work at Mundra Port and SEZ. Now,there is a demand for another 23 acres of land,” said an official from DAU,who attended the meeting.

He added: “DAU has a Date Palm Research Institute where an orchard over 25 acres is maintained. It is very rare. Date palms,scientifically known as germplasm,are brought to South Asia to carry out further research. In the meeting,DAU made its point that it cannot give away this land for the extension of the SEZ.”

Devendra Amin from Adani Group,Corporate Communications,said,“These are small issues,and the authorities generally do not comment on it.”

Demand for agriculture lands

Industrialists and builders lobby eyeing agriculture lands is not new to the state. The most recent example is the allotment of 1,100 acres of land belonging to Anand Agriculture University to the Tata Motors. A few years ago,a cotton research centre located at Athwalines,Surat,was in demand,as several builders and industrialists eyed it due to its mid-city location. Navsari Agriculture University (NAU) Vice-Chancellor R P S Ahlawat said,“The cotton research centre was acquired during the British era. NAU has been using it since then. Once the land is acquired,it cannot be taken away,so the interested party had to give up their wish.”

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