Despite Greater Noida authority’s attempts to negotiate with villages, talks with Noida Extension farmers have failed to resolve the land acquisition row. The reason: There is no consensus among farmers to formulate a collective strategy.
Management students of different institutions, who have taken up the Noida Extension land crisis as their projects, found that farmers whose land falls under areas where real estate projects are underway want to negotiate directly with builders.
Other farmers want negotiations with the authority. “Our initial findings on the Noida Extension project have revealed that those whose land falls under builders’ project areas were considering the option of negotiating directly. This way, farmers feel, would get them more money,” said Karan Bakshi, a student.
“They have not been able to negotiate with the builders as local leaders want them to deal collectively with the authority. However, builders’ agents have managed to establish contact with such farmers. Farmers who are concerned about individual gains may not be able to resist for long,” said Amit Sharma, another student.
“According to our survey, 90% of such farmers say they will consider individual gains first. Only 10% were in favour of a collective bargain,” said Rajan Bhagotra.
“What is wrong if we are considering individual gains,” said a farmer. “Though some farmers will get more money by negotiating with builders, others will lose as it will decrease our bargaining power.
Once the authority knows that builders' projects were managed, officials will get confident and may not concede demands,” said Dushyant Nagar, a farmer leader. “Collectively, however, all farmers will gain," Nagar said.
“I have appealed to farmers to remain united. The authority may use a divide-and-rule policy and break the unity to weaken the farmers’ agitation,” said Manvir Bhatti, a farmer leader.