A day after the Uttar Pradesh government scrapped a plan to build townships along the Agra-Noida Yamuna Expressway following a weeks-long stir by thousands of farmers, a rival group of farmers has demanded that the project be revived.
Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday decided to call off the five hi-tech township projects in Tappal village of Aligarh district, as farmers were demanding more money for parting with their land.
On Saturday, another group of farmers began a stir in Aligarh, demanding the revival of the township project along the 165-km expressway.
Members of a newly floated organisation, Kshetriya Gaon Samiti, blocked the Aligarh-Palwal highway and burned the effigy of leaders of the opposition Congress, RLD, BJP and Samajwadi Party.
"The dharna will continue until the state government fulfills our demands of construction of township on the Yamuna Expressway," said Chandra Prakash Panchal, president of the organisation.
The farmers handed over a memorandum to Kamta Prasad Singh, sub divisional magistrate of Khair in Aligarh.
With the cancellation of the township project in Tappal, farmers now have the right to break the agreement they had entered into with the government.
"The government will not be able to help farmers who had entered into agreement at their own end and have sold their land," said Rajiv Agarwal, Aligarh divisional commissioner.
"We cannot help them directly but would try to do whatever we can do in the interests of the farmers," said Ravindra Naik, district magistrate.
Naik said land for the expressway had already been acquired and there was no dispute over it.
"Around 180 hectares was acquired two years ago for the Expressway," he said.
The earlier farmers' stir was regarding compensation for 536 hectares of land acquired for the township near Tappal.
"As soon as farmers refund compensation, we will return their land," Naik said.