Farmer protests over unfair deals, have a long history

  • Dhananjay Jha and Snehil Sinha, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Mar 04, 2015 12:54 IST

Farmers in Gurgaon cry foul play as they say that over the years, their lands have been allegedly procured by the state government at throwaway prices. They allege that the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, on basis of which plots had been purchased from them, has been misused by the government, leading to mass protests, police lathicharge and a plethora of court cases from time to time.

The land-owners have alleged that the government had threatened them with using Sections 4, 6 and 9 of the land act and they had sold their lands to builders out of fear.

Until now, plots acquired as per the old 1894 Act, in which the compensation rate was not fixed, the government played more in favour of developers and less for farmers. This caused wide resentments and, subsequently, the new act was propelled.

As per the Land Acquisition Act 2013, which came into effect from January 6, 2014, the compensation rate fixed by the municipal corporation is double the collectorate rate (DC Rate) and four times the municipal rate limit.

Gurgaon has as many as 115 sectors built on land acquired as per the 1894 act and farmers under various groups are still fighting at different levels.

“Before the government sends notice, the agents started manipulating farmers forcing them to sell lands at throwaway prices. We have always suffered huge losses,” said Dharambir Singh from Ullawas village, adding that his land was acquired for Rs. 65-70 lakh per acre and for the same land, the developer has now sold for Rs. 1.25 lakh per sq yard.

The Haryana government had acquired land in Gurgaon at rates ranging between Rs. 25 lakh and Rs. 70 lakh per acre, while the developers sold the same plots for rates much higher.

“The government was always pro-builder and less in favour of the farmers,” said Naresh Yadav, a Manesar based farmer, joining the fresh movement led by social activist Anna Hazare, who is planning a movement against this.

The Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (KSS) in Manesar is fighting a case against the Haryana government in the Supreme Court over the acquisition of 688 acres of land. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had quashed 350 acres of land acquired by the DLF at Wazirabad.

The Haryana government says that the BJP has been instrumental in formulating the land acquisition law when it was not in power.

“As far as farmers’ benefit is concerned, they will have, for a first time, a fair and higher compensation against their acquired land. This has never happened in India before. The Modi-government is pro-farmer and has kept in mind farmers’ benefits in the fresh amendment,” said Jawahar Yadav, officer on special duty to the Haryana CM.

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