The state government has finally decided to award land titles to 1,793 families who had to be rehabilitated in 1980s due to construction of Und-I dam in Jamnagar district, by allotting them land at the rate of the year 1980.
To construct the Und-I dam in Jamnagar, the state government had acquired around 4,000 hectare of agricultural land and relocated seven villages — Virpar, Veratiya, Kharvedha, Khakhra, Pithadiya, Khokhari and Jivapar. As part of the rehabilitation package, 2,481 affected families were given residential plots measuring 200 square metres (sqm) to 300 sqm each free of cost.
But since majority of the displaced families were farmers, the government allotted them additional plots measuring 200 sqm each for building sheds for their cattle. Of the total affected families, 1,793 were allotted such additional plots. But these plots were not free of cost. After including development cost and other expenses, the government had worked out a rate of Rs 12 to Rs 16 per sqm recoverable from beneficiaries for these additional plots. The government had served notices on beneficiaries in 1994 asking them to pay the amount for their plots and get titles for the land.
“However, the beneficiaries did not pay up at that time terming the rate too high and the embargo continued for years. The beneficiaries had the possession of the plots but they did not have their land titles. Eventually, they made a representation to Chief Minister Anandiben Patel recently and expressed their willingness to pay the price of the plots fixed at rates of the year 1980. The CM called a meeting of officers on Friday and has ordered to accept the demand of the families,” a top officer of Rajkot irrigation project circle told The Indian Express.