After Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Godhra and Bharuch, the Gujarat government on Friday brought some parts of Anand town under the Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and Provision for Protection of Tenants from Premises in Disturbed Areas Act (1991) – popularly known as the Disturbed Areas Act – to prevent distress sale of properties in communally-sensitive areas. This is for the first time that the Act has been imposed in Anand.
A government release stated that Chief Minister Vijay Rupani gave his assent to implement the provisions of the Act in different parts of Anand based on a request made by the District Collector.
Areas of Moti Khodiyar, IRIS hospital, Podar International School, Radha Swami Satsang, Post Office, Anand Municipality, Gamdiwad, Kishore Plaza, Amul Dairy Road, Charotar Bank, Lakshmi Cinema, Lambhvel Road, area opposite the railway station, Gujarati Chowk, Mayfair Road, 100-feet Road, area near new bus stand, Mahavir Park, Jain Society, Anand-Vidyanagar Road, Avkuda Road, near Town Hall, 80-feet Road, D Z High School and area near H M Patel statue in Anand have been included under the purview of the Act.
While District Collector Dilip Rana refused to comment stating that he is yet to receive the communication from the government, sources in the district administration told this newspaper that the proposal sent by the Collector is based on the representations made by residents, most recently by residents of the 80-feet Road, which is an area dominated by the Hindu community.
“The representations of the residents urged the Collector to implement the Disturbed Areas Act as a few recent property transactions were made with the minority community. This road, especially has several temples too and the residents feel that mixed communities in the locality would cause trouble. There have also been minor clashes during festivals in some parts over playing of music and other petty issues,” an official said. The state government release has also stated that the government has taken this decision after getting representation from different social organisations and community leaders of Anand.
The decision of the state government to extend the Disturbed Areas Act is termed as a “preventive exercise undertaken to protect the interest of minorities in every locality, so that they do not indulge in distressed sale and no one is able to evacuate a particular section from any locality.” As per the provisions of the Act, the sale of a property to a Muslim in a Hindu dominated area and vice-versa cannot be done until each immediate neighbour of such property gives their consent to the deal. The parties have to seek an approval from the district collector and also a no objection certificate from the local police.
Under the Act, permission of district collector is mandatory for sale or transfer of property in the areas which were notified as ‘disturbed’ to ensure that the sale was not out of any distress or compulsion and to see that the seller has not been forced to sell the property for a compromised price lower than the existing revenue and market property rates.
According to the Census data of 2011, Anand has a population of 72.30% Hindus while Muslims make 21.93% of the total population.