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More power to farmers

india Updated: Jul 08, 2011 22:15 IST
Darpan Singh
Darpan Singh
Hindustan Times
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In a bid to minimise the impact of the ongoing crisis in Noida Extension and protect the interests of thousands of buyers, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has come up with a rescue plan.

Following a Supreme Court order quashing the acquisition of 156 hectares in Shahberi village and ordering the land to be returned to farmers, the authority, once it is through with implementing the court order, will go for fresh land acquisition in the village under the new policy announced recently by the state government.

But the authority will do so only after hearing and addressing farmers’ objections — something not done in the case of Shahberi, which led the courts to term the process illegal.

The authority intends to increase the cash compensation to farmers by Rs 110 per sqm. The quantum of developed land which is returned to farmers will also be increased almost four times — from 6% to 23% of the total land acquired.

This allotment will be done under four categories — residential, industrial, institutional and commercial. This effectively means plots allotted to farmers in lieu of their agriculture land will be bigger and can be used for setting up houses, industries, schools, hospitals, malls and shops. Farmers can also sell as per the allocated land use.

“Farmers are not against development. They want more benefits. We hope to undertake fresh acquisition in the same area,” a senior official told Hindustan Times on Friday.

After acquisition, the authority plans to make farmers “50% partners in the land acquisition and subsequent development process”.

The official added, “Half of the acquired land is lost in creating facilities such as roads, drains, parks and community areas. Only the remaining 50% can be sold to builders. Of that, we're giving 23% back to farmers under four prime land use categories.”

Farmers will be allowed to use 50% of the returned land chunk for residential, 35 % for industrial, 10% for institutional and the rest 5% for commercial purposes. Till now, farmers got only 6% in lieu of their total land acquired and they could not undertake industrial or institutional activities or sell the land.

Additionally, farmers will be given an annuity of Rs 23,000 per acre per year for a period of 33 years, in addition to the one-time cash compensation. The amount of annuity will be increased by Rs 800 per acre every year. Those not interested to take annuity will be given Rs 2.76 lakh per acre lump sum as rehabilitation subsidy.