The Four-Lane Bhumi Adhigrahan Visthapit Committee (FLBAVC), Balh, has alleged that officials of the special land acquisition office (SLAO), Bilaspur, are offering lower land price farmers in Mandi district than Bilaspur district.
The Balh area in Mandi is considered to be 'Mini Punjab' in terms of fertility and value. Therefore, the value of land has to be higher than Bilaspur district.
A week ago, the FLBAVC submitted a memorandum of their grievances to Mandi deputy commissioner Devesh Kumar, urging him to appoint separate land acquisition officer for Mandi district to address the farmer's grievances of the district at headquarters.
Committee president Bhup Singh Saklani said the SLAO in Bilaspur was about 60 km from the Balh area and it was taxing for farmers to undertake five hours of journey to meet SLAO Bilaspur to redress their grievances.
Farmers in areas from Dadour to Nagchala under the Balh segment have raised objection over the alleged faulty process of the land acquisition.
Saklani said the SLAO had shown his inability to award the value of land according to the present market value in the Balh area. He added farmers were feeling cheated after the conclusion of a meeting between Balh farmers and SLAO officials on May 22 after which the final decision of land compensation was kept on hold, he added.
He said the FLBAVC was demanding a suitable value of land on a lease basis for farmers.
He added that many families living on 180 bighas in Majhayatal, Jarlu, Nagchala and Daundhi villages had been living under constant fear of losing their fertile land at throw away prices since April 21, 2012, when the notification for the land acquisition was issued.
Saklani said the land acquisition was a painful process for farmers who had urged the Centre, the state government and NHAI to consider farmers demands with sympathetic attitude. He urged the authorities to provide regular paths, approach roads, bridges over 'nulhas' and Suketi sub-river and service roads for farmers welfare after acquiring their land.
SLAO Tehsildar Ajit Thakur said earlier officials of SLAO had heard Mandi farmers' objections and agreed to pay compensation suitably for agriculture land in principal, but the final decision of the award was put on hold because the model code of conduct was in force in Mandi district.
He added that the department has applied to election commission for the permission to grant award or otherwise the process will be restarted after lifting of model code of conduct restrictions on or after June 27.