With political parties targeting him in a highly charged election campaign, Chairman Adani Group Gautam Adani on Sunday said he got no special favours from Narendra Modi and since 1993, his group has acquired only barren, waste land for infrastructure projects.
The $8.7-billion ports-to-energy Adani Group began acquiring land near the coastal town of Mundra in Gujarat way back in 1993 and only one-third of a total landbank of 15,946 acres was acquired when Mr. Modi was Chief Minister, he said.
“Not a single acre has been taken from any farmer... We went to Kutch when no one looked there and acquired only barren and desert-like land that was not suitable for agriculture,” Mr. Adani told PTI in an interview here.
Mr. Adani used the land to build India’s biggest port, which loaded and unloaded a record 100 million tonnes of cargo in the year that ended on March 31, and the nation’s biggest coal power station in the private sector, he said, adding that his group did not buy land at cheap rates to sell it to make profits.
“When we began acquiring land at Mundra in 1993, (Chief Minister) Chimanbhai Patel charged us 10 paisa per square metre. (BJP government led by) Keshubhai Patel (in 1995) charged us Re. 1 per sq. metre and Shankersinh Vaghela (led Rashtriya Janata Party) in 1996-07, charged Rs 1.5 per sq. metre.
Under Mr. Modi, we got some 5,000 acre of land at an average of Rs. 15 per sq. metre,” he said.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has in his political meetings quoted alleged largesse to industrialists like Mr. Adani to attack Mr. Modi. — PTI