Small car that changed their lives big time

Farmers turn crorepatis selling off their land for Nano project in Gujarat

Small car that changed their lives big time

Thanks to the Nano car project that has come up at Sanand, about 30 km from here, Induba,  belonging to a family of farmers, has turned a millionaire overnight.

As more than thousands of village panchayats go to the polls in Gujarat on Thursday, some candidates and election managers working relentlessly through the hustings are those whose lives have been changed dramactially by the automobile project.

Induba aspires to change the lives of at least 21,000 voters of her area. But it was the small car that changed her life, big time. Her family sold off 40 acres of land in her name for Rs 23 crore: land which may have fetched just a few lakhs of rupees before the car project arrived.

She now owns two bungalows and two luxury cars. She still has another 100 acres in her name which she is prepared to sell if she gets the right kind of price; however, it is not up for sale — definitely for now.

“The land that we have sold was used for agriculture purposes and depending on seasons, we sowed crops which included cotton and even wheat,’’ says Induba. Selling off the land has been a profitable proposition for her family, she adds. “Even as farmers, we were well off. But such a large amount was unthinkable.’’

The escalated land prices have fetched them crores and given them an opportunity to contest panchayat poll. As far as her campaigning is concerned, she is promising better roads and better drainage system for the residents, a majority of whom are farmers.

She is not the only crorepati who is campaigning hard in these elections. Rahuba Vaghela is a poll manager for a candidate in Sanand village. He sold off a part of his land recently which fetched him Rs 16 crore.

“When the state government approached me saying they required part of the land owned by me for the Nano project, I agreed as they were ready to pay double the market price,’’ said Vaghela. He said he has sold only part of his agricultural land and his earnings, too, have gone up.

However, ironically, he is not talking about the project in his election meetings. Instead, the focus is on good roads, connectivity, and drainage systems.  He said the Nano effect on land prices have in fact just started showing up.

“The price of residential areas, which were Rs 2,000 per square yard, have now gone up to Rs 12,000 a square yard,’’ said Vaghela. He said the rates of commercial complexes have also seen an upward spiral.

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