I belong to Gagret and have visited my home town 3 days back. There has been lot of discussion going on this topic. At this forum I thought of sharing my opinions and let the people of Himachal know what is really going on in minds residents of Gagret.
First of all, the assumption that 90% people of Gagret are against this SEZ proposal is utterly baseless and false. Most of the people are in favor of this development and support government for the same.
Secondly, it is the PRO failure from government and media end. The confusion is due to lack of information about this SEZ and airport project. People donâ€™t know how much land will be acquired, where it be acquired, what all will be constructed apart from proposed airport. The half baked information is adding to chaos and PRO had failed miserably here. The chut-bhaiyaâ€™s are making best use of this opportunity for their political benefits. The people who oppose this are trying to appease their political bosses so that they can get some benefit for them in coming years.
I donâ€™t see press working independently here. Last week there were few people who met the CM at Shimla and the news was â€œ95% of people are against SEZâ€ which is not true. To some extent this is due to lack to transparency of system as well.
The land the government is planning to acquire land that spans from Gagret (Starting from Shiv Bari) to village Ghanari. It will be 8828 kanals needed for Airport only. Some of this land also belongs to government which is in possession of people who are making cry about this project. They are scared of this so they trying to save their skin by opposing this SEZ. 400 kanals of this land has been acquired by a lawyer who is very vocal is opposing this.
We all know what are the pros and cons of a SEZ and what can go wrong while acquiring land. People should be compensated well; they should be given lands in other areas. We can not have landless people as Una belt is good in agriculture. Government can involve local people and youth in development activities. Most important people should be passed information about the proposed project. If people are taking about pollution, government can talk about non-polluting industries like IT and ITES. Let not go back, we have good things in out way. Progress and opportunity in our way, lets catch the fast moving development train and move ahead.