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Fire spreads to city sectors

Farmers' fury is threatening to engulf 20,000 under-construction houses in Noida. Farmers of 10 villages in Noida have threatened to move the Allahabad high court against land acquisition if their long-pending demands of greater compensation and rehabilitation benefits were not met at the earliest. More trouble

india Updated: Jul 23, 2011 02:28 IST
Darpan Singh

Farmers' fury is threatening to engulf 20,000 under-construction houses in Noida. Farmers of 10 villages in Noida have threatened to move the Allahabad high court against land acquisition if their long-pending demands of greater compensation and rehabilitation benefits were not met at the earliest.

On the land acquired from these farmers, more than a dozen key real estate players are building 20,000 houses in multi-storey residential towers in 8 sectors of Noida. The Noida authority has sought two weeks' time for providing rehabilitation benefits, but there has been no word on the compensation issue. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/23_07_pg4b.jpg

On the third consecutive day, hundreds of farmers from Sorkha Jahidabad, Sarfabad, Baraula, Parthala, Kakrala, Salarpur, Gadhi Chaukhandi, Bahlolpur and Morna villages sat on a dharna at the sector 74-76 crossing.

Farmers will hold a panchayat on Sunday to decide if they would stall work on these housing projects coming up in sectors 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 117, 116 and 113.

The Greater Noida authority is already struggling with the Noida Extension crisis in Greater Noida, where court orders quashing land acquisition in two villages have crashed the dreams of 26,500 homebuyers and casting a shadow on a total of 1 lakh houses planned in the area.

"Precisely because of the Greater Noida crisis, the government has appointed a separate chairman for the Noida authority. We're confident of solving the crisis in Noida very soon," a senior official told HT from Lucknow.

Farmers are demanding 50% of their land's market value as cash compensation, settlement of abadi land disputes and allotment of developed land plots as part of rehabilitation benefits.

The farmers had already stalled work at these sites once on May 16. There is panic among buyers as in some cases, work till the seventh floors has been completed.

The administration has ensured police deployment in the area. Top authority officials on Friday met agitating farmers to see how the impasse can be lifted.

Farmers allege land was acquired from them at Rs 400 per sqm and sold to builders for Rs 10,000 per sqm. The acquisition was principally done for industrial development and, midway, the land use was changed to that of so-called planned development.

"Our objections were not listened to. There are more than 800 claims of 5% plots. No such allotment has been done since 2005," farmer leader Naresh Yadav said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/23_07_pg4a.jpg