It seems the state government is hell-bent on acquiring arable land for the development of Manesar extension area. Despite opposition from farmers, authorities have announced the award to be given to them, the last stage of the process of land acquisition.
Interestingly, the move came days after the Supreme Court issued notices to various state and central government agencies seeking explanations as to why an environment assessment was not conducted before deciding to acquire 6,000 acres of agricultural land for extension of Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar.
The farmers had filed a writ petition early this month and the apex court had issued notices to the state and central government agencies.
After the announcement of award, a farmers’ body known as Fertile Land Protection Movement and affected villagers have decided to file a fresh petition in the apex court.
“There are thousands of farmers who stand to lose their land,” said Bhupender Yadav, the counsel for the petitioners.
Even Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had assured the aggrieved farmers that their land would not be acquired forcibly when they visited him last month. The compensation is likely to be given after April 21.
This announcement of award is the last stage of the process of land acquisition which is carried out only when all the prior legal formalities are duly complied with. Out of 6,000 acres of land which government plans to acquire, the acquisition process of more than half (3325 acres) was in the final stage.
“We expected the acquisition process to have been stalled pending the court order, but the authorities are bent upon grabbing land from the farmers,” said Ameena Sherwani of Manesar Industrial Welfare Association (MIWA). District officials, however, are not aware of any legal proceedings. “We don’t have any information of any notice sent by the court,” said PD Sharma, district revenue officer.
“Some land will not be acquired, as the CM had promised, which is beyond the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway but the area we need for the development of land, has to be acquired,” he added.
Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, PC Meena said, “Representatives of all eight villages have requested us to acquire the land.”
In June 2009, factory owners in the IMT were told to pay enhanced rates for the land acquired to build the township. And the amount came to a substantial R39 lakh per acre.
In 1994, the government had acquired land at a rate of R4.5 lakh per acre to set up the IMT. Then farmers went to court, seeking a hike in compensation.