The Gujarat High Court today issued notices to the state government and Essar group on petitions alleging that the group wrongfully acquired agricultural and grazing lands in Devbhomi-Dwarka district for its thermal power project and ordered “status quo” to the group’s activities in 3 villages.
A division bench, headed by acting Chief Justice V M Sahai, sought replies from the state government and Essar Power Gujarat Limited by August 24.
It also issued notices to the district Collector and the office of the Superintendent of Land Record.
The petitions have been filed by 57 villagers of three concerned villages — Mota Manda, Nana Manda and Parodhiya.
The government allowed the group to carry out industrial activities over a land which belonged to locals, they allege.
Essar group too has filed a petition in connection with the issue, stating that the land was given to it by the government and it was in the possession of the government (and not locals).
While villagers say that the land given to Essar measures 17,69,986 sq mt, the group states it is only 1,24,445 sq mt.
According to the villagers, Essar Power Ltd has started building a corridor for carrying coal.
Opposition Congress had earlier this month alleged that Essar group had acquired the land forcibly with the help of the BJP-led state government. The government denied the allegation saying all the rules and norms had been followed.