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Gujarat International Finance Tec-City to have its own metro stations

Our Correspondent : 11 Jan. 2013
AHMEDABAD: Even before the metro rail between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar has sprouted tracks, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City has already rolled out the red carpet to the Metro Express Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad (MEGA). GIFT is planning to construct the metro rail infrastructure for MEGA within it's own campus.

GIFT city officials have already proposed their intentions of taking part in the metro rail project to the state government. "We plan to construct a multi-modal transit station at GIFT and other metro stations. It's a complex job, as there will also be a commercial zone where the stations will have to be built. GIFT metro station will be different," says GIFT director Ramakant Jha.

Gujarat HC notice to State, Centre over forest land allocation to Essar

Our Correspondent : 11 Jan. 2013
AHMEDABAD: Just a day before Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit on Friday, Gujarat high court sought explanation from the state government and the Centre over allocation of forest land to Essar Steel Ltd at Hazira in south Gujarat.

A bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala issued notices to the governments over a PIL filed by former Congress MLA Farooq Shaikh. He demanded that the allotment of forest land to the company near Suvali village in Choryasi taluka of Surat district be immediately cancelled. He has also requested the court to direct the authorities to demolish the construction put up by the company on this land.

Shaikh has alleged that the state government has allotted 2.07 crore square metre of forest land to the company. During the proceeding, government pleader Prakash Jani questioned the timing of filing of the PIL that it was done at the time of VGGIS. To this, Shaikh's counsel Yatin Oza said that when the petitioner was a legislator, he raised the issue in the Assembly in 2011, but he could not file a PIL being a legislator.

The senior counsel also submitted that the state government had then informed that four criminal cases were lodged against erring persons for encroachment on forest land. However, no further proceeding in criminal cases has taken place, he claimed.

Shaikh has contended that the land was allotted to Essar at a throwaway price to show the so called development in the state and investment of big companies in the state.

Shaikh also submitted that he had complained in this regard before the union ministry. Then he raised this issue before chief minister Narendra Modi in 2010 saying that the company was illegally allotted forest land and also steps taken against the responsible officers, but the core question is that why no legal proceedings have been initiated against the illegal possession taken over by the company.He further submitted that the land, which was sold to Essar without inviting any tender, now values more than Rs 3,000 per square metre. Thus total cost now comes around Rs 6,228 crore. He has demanded immediate action claiming that such allocation is nothing but loss to the public exchequer.