The authority has begun the process of returning to farmers the 156 hectares of land in village Shahberi, whose acquisition was quashed by a Supreme Court order a week ago. Builders, who the authority had allotted the land to, have also been told to vacate the village.
Authority CEO Rama Raman said, “Builders will be refunded if they apply for it.” Those who took compensation will first need to return the money before they can get their land back.
What about those who had spent the compensation amount? “About 15% farmers had taken compensation (R17 crore). We’re not forcing them to return money. The money can be adjusted when the land is acquired again,” the CEO said.
“We will follow the SC order in letter and spirit. We will take the entire land in village Shahberi back from the builders and return it to farmers,” he said. “The idea is to make the land as fit for cultivation as possible,” a senior official said.
What will happen to Shahberi now? “The authority will go for acquisition again but this time farmers’ objections will be heard and addressed,” said an official.