Farmers say no to N-power plant

Gujarat political parties support villagers stand

It comes close on the heels of the ongoing protest against a nuclear plant planned at Jaitapur in neighbouring Maharashtra. Emboldened by Anna Hazare’s support to Gujarat farmers who are resisting handing over their lands to the industries, farmers from six villages in Bhavnagar district have pledged not to allow the proposed 6,000 mega watt nuclear plant at Mithivirdi village. 

The farmers assembled at Jaspara and took part in a rally which was attended by leaders from various political parties, cutting across party lines, and they pledged that they will ensure that no farmer is lured into give their land away at whatever the price offered to them. A group of about 3,000 farmers has pledged that they will lay down their lives instead of surrendering their land.

Sarpanch of Shaktisinh Gohil, who will also lose his land, said, “On an average every farmer earns about Rs 60,000-Rs70,000 from their farm area.’’ The farmers in this area grow crops like mango, chickoo and other fruits.

Gohil said the farmers are being told that they will be compensated with money and jobs but that means that they will be losing out on their lifetime asset. “The farmers are united this time as they realise the importance of the land and agriculture so even as governments argue about the betterment of the village and surrounding areas we do not want to surrender our lands,’’ said a villager.

The land owners showed their strength of unity by not allowing officials to enter the village for soil testing. The show of unity was also evident with leaders cutting across party lines displaying their solidarity with the movement.  BJP legislator Kanu Kalsariya who ensured the exit of Nirma plant was present to encourage the farmers in their agitation.

Goardhan Zadaphia of  the Mahagujarat Janata Party who has been spearheading the agitation and former state finance minister Sanat Mehta also pledged that they will support the farmers till they are totally assured that their lands will not be taken away for the project.

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