Farmers in Olpad Taluka Rally Against Hazira-Gothan Railway Line
The protest, organized under the banner of Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG), saw impassioned farmers chanting slogans such as 'Jaan Denge, Zameen Nahi' (we will give our life, but not our land) as they made their grievances known.
Surat : Hundreds of farmers hailing from approximately 14 villages in Olpad Taluka, Gujarat, gathered at Variav near Surat on Sunday to voice their vehement opposition to the notification issued by the Central Government regarding a proposed new broad gauge railway line from Hazira to Gothan.
The protest, organized under the banner of Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG), saw impassioned farmers chanting slogans such as ‘Jaan Denge, Zameen Nahi’ (we will give our life, but not our land) as they made their grievances known.
The bone of contention for these farmers is the perceived injustice of land acquisition, as they claim that their objections have fallen on deaf ears. More than 150 affected farmers had previously filed personal objections with the deputy collector’s office, only to see their concerns brushed aside as railway authorities were granted the green light for the new railway track.
In a unanimous decision, the aggrieved farmers have resolved to organize a massive protest rally on October 5, 2023. Their primary goal is to vehemently oppose the land acquisition by both the government and the railway department. At the heart of their demand is the revocation of the Central Government’s notification authorizing the new broad gauge railway line, which they contend primarily serves the interests of large industries located in Hazira.
Jayesh Patel, the President of Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG), expressed the farmers’ unwavering determination: “The farmers have resolved to fight till the end. Already, hundreds of farmers in Hazira and Olpad Talukas have lost their land to the existing railway track from Hazira to Gothan. Now, the government wants to lay a new railway track adjoining the existing one, which is unwarranted.”
Darshan Naik, a prominent leader within the farming community in Surat, accused the district administration and railway authorities of being proxies for the giant industries in Hazira. He asserted, “They are misguiding the Central Government on the necessity of the new railway track. Many farmers will lose their precious agricultural land, and we will not allow this to happen.”
“Farmers’ struggle against the proposed railway line is emblematic of the ongoing challenges faced by farmers across India as they seek to safeguard their agricultural heritage and way of life in the face of industrial expansion” said Ramesh Patel, president of South Gujarat Kedut Samaj.
As the October 5 rally approaches, the farmers’ determination remains unyielding, and their voices are poised to grow louder as they continue their fight against what they see as unjust land acquisition for the benefit of Hazira’s industrial giants.