Even as the dust of Noida Extension is yet to settle down, farmers of 10 villages in Noida have threatened to storm the sites of about a dozen key real estate players and stall construction of about 20,000 units in multi-storey residential towers coming up in 8 sectors of the city.
The farmers, who have already done it once on May 16, have threatened to stall these projects on July 20. In some cases, work till the seventh floors have been completed.
The threat has come despite the fact the authority chief executive officer (CEO) Rama Raman has categorically said that stern action will be taken against those stalling work at sites, which are not legally disputed.
Farmers are demanding 50% of their land’s market value as cash compensation, settlement of abadi land disputes (returning to farmers wrongly acquired abadi land or, in some cases, freeing encroached areas from farmers) and allotment of developed land (5% of the total land acquired) plots as part of rehabilitation benefits.
On May 16, hundreds of farmers of Sorkha Jahidabad, Sarfabad, Baraula, Parthala, Kakrala, Salarpur, Gadhi Chaukhandi, Bahlolpur and Morna reached the builders' sites in sectors 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 117, 116 and 113 and stopped work. Noida authority had sought from farmers one month’s time to address the issues. The authority said it would hold special camps and allot the 5% plots.
There has not been much progress but officials put up a brave front.
“We have held hearings in three villages to solve abadi land disputes, which will lead up to allotment of developed land plots. As for the demand of greater compensation, we have communicated the matter to state government. Lucknow will take a call.”
Farmers are not impressed. Farmer leader Naresh Yadav said, “The authority has not respected its deadline. There is only one week left before our deadline expires. I don’t think they will be able to concede our demands in a week. We held a meeting on Sunday last and decided in case our demands are not met, will stop work at sites and resort to an indefinite agitation.”
He said, “Land was acquired from us at R400 per sqm and sold to builders for R10,000 per sqm. The acquisition was principally done for industrial development and, midway, the land use was changed to that of so-called planned development. Our objections were not listened to.” There are more than 800 claims of 5% plots. No such allotment has been done since 2005, he said.
Farmers, apart from cash compensation, also get plots (5% of the total land acquired) in developed sectors through lottery and after payment of development charges as part of a rehabilitation plan.