A group of saltpan workers (locally called agariyas) made a representation to Gujarat leader Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel July 18, 2023 beneath the aegis of the Agariya Heet Rakshak Manch (AHRM). They requested kingdom intervention over forest branch officials issuing commands barring their entry in the Little Rann of Kutch.
Contributors of Koli, Sandhi and Miyana communities live in one hundred-one hundred twenty five villages surrounding the Little Rann of Kutch regions under North Gujarat, Kutch and Saurashtra areas are depending on salt cultivation in the region. The saltpan employees from the districts of Patan, Kutch, Morbi and Surendranagar were within the profession for six hundred-seven hundred years, even since British rule.
In 1972, 4,953.70 square kilometres of the Little Rann of Kutch changed into declared a wild ass (ghudkhar) sanctuary vide notifications issued beneath state legal guidelines, consisting of Gujarat flora and fauna and Birds Conservation Act, 1963.
After that, a agreement survey changed into undertaken in 1997, based on which saltpan employees have been issued permits and land on rent to cultivate salt within the Little Rann of Kutch.
But the Gujarat government’s industries and mines branch, which has overlooked on listing several conventional agariyas within the survey underaken in 2007. They are now traumatic to get enrolled inside the identical settlement survey books.
In the latest memorandum to the leader minister, the representatives of the agrieved agariyas have connected files of historical cost relationship back to the British era of the community individuals engaged in salt cultivation.
They’ve additionally included memorandum from the a couple of representations made through the left-out agariyas to concerned government places of work to get themselves enlisted.
In context to the continued pleas in the Gujarat excessive courtroom in addition to within the countrywide green Tribunal alleging land-poaching sports within the Little Rann of Kutch, for which the woodland department wishes to put up the file at the methods performed in the equal remember, the branch officials performed vicinity-sensible meetings with agariyas.
Amid an ongoing criminal war altogether in unique matters and at the same time as the survey-agreement record is but underneath the state authorities’s consideration and scrutiny, woodland branch officers regarding equal record, in the vicinity-smart conferences issued commands bringing up that those agariyas whose names are not listed vide the survey-settlement document can be denied access into the Little Rann of Kutch vicinity from subsequent season.
Above orders from wooded area branch officials have forced them to make representation to the very best office in the nation this is the chief Minister’s office in Gujarat.
The problems referring to the agreement survey have now not been addressed within the final 50 years, the representatives highlighted.
Additionally they pointed out that the quantity of untamed ass inside the location rose to 6,082 in 2019 from seven hundred in 1973, according to census. If the person-animal battle really existed, which has been stated as a reason for the access limit, the wild ass populace wouldn’t have visible this increase.
Numerous bodies representing saltpan workers also cited that saltpan workers use 6 according to cent of the total land vicinity for salt cultivation in Little Rann of Kutch, which is negligible in quantum and area.
There have been times in the past, wherein saltpan people had been both denied access or have been requested to move out from the web page, by way of the involved corporations, which following some political stress used to calm down.
Pankti Jog, volunteer with AHRM, explained the cause why the matter has resurfaced. She brought:
There are almost 8,000 households who interact in salt cultivation sports inside the Little Rann of Kutch. Now out of 100-one hundred twenty five villages, the wooded area department officials conducted meetings at sixteen villages and 95 in keeping with cent of the names of agariyas were struck out. This raised concerns and so agariyas have been left with no choice however to represent their voice to the highest authority in the country.
While the survey-agreement document is but below the nation authorities scrutiny and consideration, how can the terrible salt-pan employees be punished, in a few different topics which include land-poaching, that have been piling up in the court docket considering that beyond few many years, Jog questions.
“This count number is beneath dispute considering last 50 years, for the reason that vicinity has been declared as wildlife Sanctuary in 1973,” brought Jog. “So now, we are asking the very best authority inside the nation to intervene into the problem and let these people earn their conventional and ancestral livelihood, which they were practising for the reason that ultimate 6-7 centuries.”
Officers of the Gujarat woodland department were now not on hand or to be had to comment or offer info concerning the allegations made inside the memorandum submitted by AHRM.
Saltpan people residing in close by villages surrounding Little Rann of Kutch camp for eight months after monsoon season inside the area, in which sources of salt and candy waters deposit.
After the water evaporates, salt deposits are cultivated to get rock or droop salt (regionally known as gangda mithu), that is bought to the business fraternity engaged within the selling of this uncooked salt.
Usually agariyas take economic useful resource from the identical commercial enterprise fraternity to camp and domesticate the salt from the region. Once the salt is harvested, it’s far offered to the identical business fraternity from whom they have taken financial useful resource or mortgage.
Different concerns presented within the memorandum covered the reality that maximum of the agariyas indexed inside the agreement survey record aren’t alive today.
The co-operative societies operated through agariyas have long past bankrupt and don’t have any locus standi (felony status), they harassed.
Few claims have been exceeded, which can be stuck following the Gujarat excessive court verdicts, for cases where the land lease has expired and no longer been renewed, the representatived mentioned. So, even the accredited claims do now not stand of any cost, they delivered.
The kingdom government has already issued magnificence-1 identification cards (referred to as agariyapothi) and feature channelised several welfare schemes for agariyas and their households, along with training, health, consuming water through the nation-empowered committee for the salt enterprise.
In the memorandum submitted to the Gujarat leader Minister’s office, the agariyas have further asked that the nation keeps validating the “seasonal community person rights” and do the considered necessary within the equal route.