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Some home truth for elders living with HIV

The first of its kind Old Age Home for people afflicted with HIV/AIDS,by the Government of Gujarat (GoG),now seems to have hit a stumbling block.

Old age home for them caught in land row

The first of its kind Old Age Home for people afflicted with HIV/AIDS,by the Government of Gujarat (GoG),now seems to have hit a stumbling block. The issue in question is that of the seven acres of land that was to be given for the said project.

The Vadodara-based NGO,Lakshaya,which is headed by Prince Manvendrasinh Gohil,had mooted the idea to set up the home on the banks of the Narmada,at Kumbeshwar village in Nanod taluka of Narmada district.

Jayant Trivedi,an NRI,had given five acres of land in the same area for the project and had approached the state government for another seven acres of land. Gohil said: “Six months ago,Trivedi donated his share at Kumbeshwar and approached the government for seven acres of land. The GoG agreed and asked Trivedi to undergo a few procedures.”

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The protocol was duly followed,but Gohil was recently told that the land belongs to the Forest Department.

“Earlier,we were told that the land was declared waste and could be given for the Old Age Home. Soon after we approached the district administration,the area was fenced overnight,” said Gohil.

He added: “Trivedi has donated his five acres of land,and we will continue with the project,but not up to that extent. The figures of Lakshaya show that there are 50 HIV/AIDS patients in Narmada district alone. I am well aware of this fact that the district administration has fenced the land for afforestation. They will grow trees,but the survival rate is always a riddle. I support the concept of growing trees. The point is,how serious is the administration and why has it realised it suddenly.”

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Narmada District Collector R M Patel said: “We are making roads for the forest dwellers in the Soolpaneshwar sanctuary area,and in lieu of that we have to grow trees in the other areas. The seven acres of land at Kumbheshwar is that piece of land that Lakshaya is claiming. We are trying to allot the land somewhere else.”

Rajpipla Division Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) Sashi Kumar said: “I had a meeting with the collector. I can give a proper report only by tomorrow.”

First published on: 05-05-2009 at 12:44:55 am
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