The mamlatdar of Babra taluka in Amreli district has issued a public notice ordering around 200 individuals of Kidi village to remove their structures and vacate government land or gauchar land in the village within three days. Babra mamlatdar Chintan Vaishnav issued public notice on Wednesday to residents of Kidi village to remove their encroachment on government land and grazing land in the village. The action by the revenue officer comes after Gujarat High Court sought to know the status of the two types of land in the village.
“After Gujarat High Court asked us to furnish records of government waste land and gauchar land in Kidi, district inspector of land records (DILR) surveyed the land in the village around one month ago. The survey showed that many villagers had encroached on government land and gauchar land by either constructing houses or starting to cultivate it. After this came to light, we have issued them notices to remove such encroachment voluntarily within three days. If they do not respond to the public notice withing the given time, we shall give them 24 hours more by a final notice and then will take a drive to remove encroachments if they don’t do it on their own,” Vaishnav told The Indian Express on Thursday.
The action by the Amreli revenue officers came after one Raghu Mundhva moved the Gujarat High Court against allotting land to private companies in the village for installing windmills for generating power. In their plea, the villagers sought that government keep some open land as gauchar land before allotting it for wind turbines. Acting on the plea, the HC directed the Amreli district collector to identify gauchar land and government waste land. Following this, the collector ordered a survey of land by the DILR in Kidi. The survey detected large-scale encroachment.
Meanwhile, Kidi village sarpanch Dhiru Zapadiya said that all they are demanding is some grazing land. “Our plea to the High Court was to allot some land as grasing land. But now, the issue of encroachment has cropped up. We made a representation to the district collector. But he said he would have to follow the court order,” said Zapadiya. While Amreli district collector SL Amrani could not be reached for comment, officers said private wind energy companies such as Inox Wind, Theolia Wind Power, Jai Ambe etc are installing their wind turbines in the village. However, villagers are protesting against these projects alleging encroaching on gauchar land.