Adani Group has been advertising that it has no interest in Punjab’s agriculture and land, but the truth is that it has every interest in both. Its advertisement goes on to deny the fact that its feet are not planted on the land yet. The advertisement is full of lies. Adani Group entered Punjab in 2005 by building 2 lakh tonne capacity silos in Moga. The corporation rents the silos to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to use as storage. This affects the livelihood of a great number of grain traders, aarthiyas and porters.
From the moment the produce leaves the farmer’s trolley to the moment it reaches field depots in Bengaluru and Chennai, not one labourer is employed. This is the reason that Adani was able to transport 30,000 tonnes of grain from base depots in Moga and Kaithal to the rest of the country during the lockdown via their own trains and without needing labour. In 2016, FCI entered into another agreement with Adani Group to construct a 25,000 tonne silo at Kotkapura with an investment of Rs 35 crores.
After grain storage, Adani group showed immense interest in container handling in Ludhiana. In 2019, it acquired an inland container depot (ICD) at Kanech village near Sahnewal for Rs. 331 crores and labeled it under Adani Logistics Services. On June 25, 2020 the depot shut down and the customers were diverted to its Multi-Model Logistics Park situated at Kila Raipur. The park, spread across 77 acres, was constructed in 2017. The facility was a direct link between Ludhiana district and Mundra Port in Gujarat, also owned by Adani. Punjab’s electricity production and transmission has also attracted Adani Group’s attention.
The group has, as of now, supplied Punjab’s thermal power plants with five lakh tonnes of coal. The way it is gaining lead in the world thermal coal market, Punjab’s thermal power plants are bound to increasingly depend on the group. On November 24 of this year, Adani Power was contracted to supply 6100 megawatts electricity from 15 June 2021 to 30 August 2021 at the rate of Rs. 3.59 per unit for paddy irrigation in Punjab. Punjab is dependent on Adani Group for solar power too. On November 8, 2016, Adani Green inaugurated India’s largest solar power plant with production capacity of 100 MW in Bathinda. The investment was around Rs. 640 crores.
It’s difficult to understand why Malwa region’s fertile and arable land was chosen for this project, when the venture could have been done on barren land. For the plant, 641 acres of arable land was taken under contract for 30 years from 270 farmers from Bathinda’s Sardargarh, Chughe, Karamgarh and Balluana. It is clear that as the Adani Group expands its business in Punjab, it is going to further lease the land on a larger scale to plant its roots deeper. On the contrary, as long as Punjabis remember their heritage, they can’t be tricked by anyone into giving up their land. They won’t separate from their motherland.
India’s people have witnessed how a company changes into ‘Company Honourable’. The present farmers’ movement is an evidence of struggle against the looming dangers of corporatisation of the land.
The author of this article is Amanpreet Singh Gill. This article was published in the second edition of Trolley Times.