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Farmers up in arms against state govt

india Updated: Jul 18, 2011 00:25 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

After Greater Noida farmers reclaimed their land in Shahberi village on the directions of Supreme Court, the farmers whose lands have been acquired by the Haryana government are up in arms against the state.

Major projects in the line of fire are the proposed 250-acre Exhibition cum Convention Center (Pragati Maidan), 30-acre Inter-state Bus Terminal (ISBT) and Reliance Industries Limited's 25,000-acre multi-product special economic zone (SEZ).

Farmers have alleged that 1,700 acres of land was acquired by the Haryana government for developing industrial estate but was given to RIL in 2006 that failed to keep its promise of setting up SEZ and provide employment.

On Saturday, the farmers from village Garoli Kalan, Khurd, Narsingpur, Harsaroo, Khandsa held a meeting in village Narsingpur.

They said that the Haryana government had acquired the land in 2006 from these villages at the rate of around Rs 12 lakh per acre where the current market price is around Rs 4-5 crore.

“Haryana government had acquired land to develop an industrial estate but transferred the land to RIL for an SEZ which has not come up yet. It's been about five years. We now demand that the farmer's land should be returned as it is not being used,” said Mahinder Shastri, the convener of Azad Hind Kisan Mahasangh.

Within a week's time, it was the second meeting organised. Farmers from three villages near Manesar had held a similar meeting on July 10 to oppose the state's decision to acquire 1,150 acres of land at throwaway prices for the extension of Industrial Model Township (IMT) Manesar.

Next day, the farmers had also filed a writ petition in Punjab & Haryana High Court.

“Haryana government had forcibly taken over our land and RIL has done nothing more than erecting a boundary wall around the land that they received from the government as sweat equity of 10% in the HSIIDC-RIL SEZ,” said Satpal Garoli, who gave away 10 acres of land.

However, RIL officials refuted the allegation.

“We have not only completed the boundary wall work, but also have started developing facilities for the Information Technology and enabled services companies. We are also going to enter into agreements with a number of auto manufacturing companies that would start operating from here in time to come,” an official said.

On the other hand, HSIIDC officials said the farmers had no business of raising a hue and cry as they had not only accepted the compensation, but were also receiving annuity of R35,000 per acre per annum.

The amount is Rs 38,000 now as it increases by Rs 1000 every year.

The farmers would continue to get annuity for 35 years as per the provisions of land acquisition policy, the officials said.