CONGRESS MLA Premchand “Guddu” on Monday demanded a moratorium on land acquisition for the Pithampur auto-testing track and the special economic zone near the airport till the formulation of a central rehabilitation policy for the affected people.
The legislator also claimed that the State BJP has received Rs 10 lakh per each acre of land for these two projects as gratification.
In a letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan the MLA questioned the State government’s decision to go ahead with the land acquisition without Centre’s directives on the issue.
“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced formation of a national rehabilitation policy for affected farmers within three months. Why can’t the State government delay the acquisition until the policy is formulated so that farmers get the right prices for their land”, the Alot MLA demanded to know.
A copy of the letter was also forwarded to Union Industries Minister Kamal Nath with a plea to direct the State to refrain from acquiring farmland for the two projects.
Premchand said “The prevailing rates for land near the airport are Rs 35 lakh per acre but investors have been assured at Rs 15 lakh per acre. The owners are being paid only Rs 5 lakh per acre with the balance being credited to the party fund”, Guddu told the Hindustan Times.
The MLA said “Failure to provide prevailing market rates to farmers for their landholdings would result in a repetition of the large-scale violence witnessed at Hubli SEZ in West Bengal.”
Meanwhile, the district administration has initiated land acquisition for the proposed SEZ near the airport following a proposal submitted by the MP Electronics Development Corporation (MPEDC). Farmland acquisition is also underway for the country’s first auto-testing track at Pithampur at a cost of Rs 2,700 crore.