Farmers’ protest finds echo in foreign media | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Farmers’ protest finds echo in foreign media

The "fire" of Bhatta (that literally means a brick kiln) Parsaul in Greater Noida — where scores of farmers have, for more than a month now, been agitating against land acquisition for construction of a Delhi-Agra toll expressway and seeking more compensation — has reached "far and wide".

delhi Updated: Feb 24, 2011 01:33 IST
Darpan Singh

The "fire" of Bhatta (that literally means a brick kiln) Parsaul in Greater Noida — where scores of farmers have, for more than a month now, been agitating against land acquisition for construction of a Delhi-Agra toll expressway and seeking more compensation — has reached "far and wide".

The New York Times, in an essay, says, "…protesting for higher compensation at a village called Bhatta Pasrol (sic), farmers clashed with the police this week. In Jikarpur, most farmers have already sold their land for the project, though some are still holding out and even contemplating future protests."

"The controversy exposed the potential for abuse in what has become India's template for infrastructure projects - as governments use their powers of eminent domain to acquire land for private developers."

The New York Times (NYT) also quotes farmers who say though there is no way out (other that agreeing to acquisition), some of them are hopeful of a better future with the money coming in.

The NYT piece notes the progress on the Yamuna Expressway project, despite stiff resistance, may actually be a good sign.

"The expressway may point to a more promising trend. Some of India's poorest states, facing rising public pressure to deliver good governance and economic growth, are making progress," the write-up says.

The article also attacks leaders, who, cutting across the political spectrum, have been making a beeline to Ground Zero. "Frustration over low compensation boiled into fatal clashes with the police. Then opposition politicians arrived to pillory the state government and pose for photos with farmers," it says.