Thousands of farmers from villages adjoining Dadri staged protests at Ghaziabad district headquarters and demanded back their land, which the UP government had acquired for a 7,480 Megawatt (MW) gas-based plant to be built by Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power Limited (RPL).
Farmers from seven villages of Bajheda Khurd, Nandlalpur, Behrampur, Dehra, Jadavpur, Kakrana and Dhaulana participated in the protest.
“We will not give even an inch of our land for the power plant. We are ready to pay back the amount and get back our fertile land,” said Yudhisthir Shishodia, office-bearer of Maharana Sangram Singh Kisan Kalyan Samiti (MSSKKS).
In 2004, over Rs 146 crores were paid as compensation to 5,314 farmers for around 2,500 acres of land. Farmers said they would pay back the compensation amount if necessary, but in installments.
“Most of the (compensation) amount has been spent as we had no alternate occupation. Even then, we are ready to pay back the amount, which we received earlier. Either, the government write-off the amount or allow us easy installment system to pay it back,” Shishodia added.
The farmers also said that they would meet the UP Chief Minister Mayawati before 18 January to appraise her about their demands.
When contacted, the Reliance Power Limited (RPL) spokesperson said: “The matter is under court’s consideration and it is coming up for hearing with the Supreme Court.”