ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mainstreaming or Marginalisation?

Evidence from Special Economic Zones in Gujarat

Gujarat, which till recently was known as a relatively hassle-free state for industrialisation, is now experiencing increasing resistance to the conversion of farmland for industry-infrastructure development. While the growing unrest could be attributed to a complex mix of economic, political and cultural factors, a substantial part of it is also the result of the virtual absence of an information-sharing process and an almost complete denial of meaningful dialogue between the state and local communities. Though the new law on land acquisition and rehabilitation tries to address this critical gap, how it actually plays out will depend on how affected people perceive the gains and losses from mega projects. This paper examines the experiences of local communities affected by three major special economic zones in Gujarat.

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