Gujarat's One-sided Land Policy

Gujarat's One-sided Land Policy

The Gujarat Government's efforts to push for the Dholera Smart City and other Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) projects have resulted in lopsided policies. These policies prove that agriculturists have no representation in the state’s legislative processes.

Delhi and Mumbai—two of India's biggest cities—are separated by a distance of 1,500 kilometres (kms). The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) is a railway track originating from Dadri Dry Port (near Delhi) and terminating at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sea Port (near Mumbai). This railway track, now under construction, is meant to exclusively carry raw and manufactured goods, to and fro, across seven states. Around 23 areas have been identified to serve as “manufacturing hubs” that would actually use the services of this brand new railway system. This is the famed Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Some “manufacturing hubs” actually exist in this corridor while the rest exist only on paper; in reality, there exist miles and miles of rich fertile lands in their place.

While the plan sounds modest enough to be single-mindedly focussed on expanding industrial output and thereby the gross domestic product (GDP), employment, etc, the DMIC's actuality is manipulated by golf-loving millionaires in suits. After initial rounds of planning and passing papers, Amitabh Kant (erstwhile CEO of the Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation, and now the secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) articulated a dire need for building cities before factories[1].  Currently, the official focus is on building cities—smart cities to be precise—while the rhetoric of India's industrial productivity gathers dust. Funded by different first world nations who would ultimately own sizeable chunks in the newly built townships and industrial parks, the DMIC directly challenges India's sovereignty, food security and, most importantly, economic and regional equality. 

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