The development authority and district administration will soon begin work to implement the Supreme Court order to return the acquired land to Shahberi farmers.
About 90% of the farmers had not accepted the compensation given by the government and moved court against the acquisition. “Those who took compensation will first need to return the money before they can get their land back. Those who did not, will get back their land after some formalities,” said a senior officer.
Rama Raman, CEO of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority, said the court's order will be implemented in letter and spirit.
Villagers, meanwhile, claimed that builders were aware that the land was under dispute as only 10% farmers had taken the compensation. Of the seven builders, only four had started work. “They deliberately went slow. Luckily, construction had started only on 25 hectares of land (out of the total 156),” said a villager. But the fields are hardly fit for cultivation anymore due to concrete dumping. The land had been acquired in 2009.
Labourers working at construction sites have also turned out to be sufferers. They alleged that contractors had sensed payments from builders would be delayed and have gone missing.