PM Hometown Residents Move Court Against Land Acquisition For Project


Vadnagar land acquisition: Residents filed a plea against the notification last week. (Representational)

Ahmedabad:

Residents of Vadnagar in Gujarat’s Mehsana district have challenged in the high court the state government’s move to acquire their land for a buffer zone for preservation of some of the architectural structures found in the town where a massive excavation project is being carried out.

Eleven families from Vadnagar, the hometown of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have sought the Gujarat high court’s direction to cancel the government’s notification allowing acquisition of land without carrying out a social impact assessment (SEA) study for the buffer zone to be created for maintenance of architectural structures.

The residents filed a plea against the notification last week and the matter was taken up by a division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri on Monday. The bench later adjourned the hearing to March 11.

The counsel for the petitioners has submitted that the archaeological department is looking to acquire land parcels with around 30 houses built on them to create a buffer zone for preservation of architectural structures discovered in the town by classifying it as a “special project”.

This is being done without the SEA study as the government considers it a special project. Section 10 (a) of the state’s amendment to the Land Acquisition Act allows the government to acquire land for such a special project without the need for an SEA, according to the plea.

The affected families have lived there for the last 50 years and the proposed buffer zone is not such a project that will require land acquisition without an SIA, the counsel maintained.

The petitioners suggested the government should consider creating the buffer zone on a vacant space on the left side of the excavation site to spare the existing houses of the affected families.

Massive excavation works are being carried out at Vadnagar and several architectural sites have been discovered so far by the Archaeological Survey of India.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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