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Gujarat HC notice to Adani Power over Chinese colony

Through PIL villagers have sought direction from the High Court to stop construction on the encroached land and demolition of already constructed structures

Premal Balan  |  Ahmedabad 

Gavel image via Shutterstock

Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued a notice to Adani Power Ltd and Adani Port and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) based on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by people of Siracha village in Mundra, Kutch, alleging encroachment of their grazing land by the Adani Group-owned companies for constructing residential colony for Chinese workers there.

A division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala hearing the PIL also issued notices to the state government, Kutch district collector and Siracha Gram Panchayat and asked them to file their respective replies within two weeks when the next hearing is scheduled.

The PIL has been filed by a group of people from Siracha village through lawyers Narendra Jani and Hetvi Sancheti. These people who belong to shepherd community have said in their petition that Adani Power has encroached upon over 40 acres of their village grazing land, and as a result they face a danger of losing their livelihood.

They have sought direction from the High Court to stop construction on the encroached land and demolition of already constructed structures, said Jain, adding that despite number of representation to concerned government officials by the villagers, there has been no action against the company.

A group of over 200 persons, out of total village population of 1,000, are supporting the PIL against Adani Power which has illegally constructed a residential colony for Chinese workers on the encroached land, said Sancheti.

"And when the workers approached the Adani Power, one official of the company threatened the villagers and claimed that though the construction was illegal, the government was going to regularise it for them," she added.

According to case details, Adani Power had begun construction of the residential colony couple of years back as the then sarpanch and village committee had been won over by the company officials.

The petitioners have alleged that besides local taluka and district administration, the local police is also hand in glove with the company officials.

The police gave protection to company when villagers tried to stop illegal work at the site, they added.

In the PIL the villagers have alleged that the land under question was never allotted to Adani Power for the colony. They have stated that number of notices were sent to the company to stop illegal construction but there were all ignored, hence, they have made representations to the district authority.

The villagers have raised primary concern that since their existence depend on agriculture and livestock, encroachment of grazing land will adversely affect their livelihood.

First Published: Thu, June 20 2013. 20:48 IST