The Allahabad high court verdict on Noida and Greater Noida land acquisition cases has fuelled hopes of a better deal among the farmers of Yamuna Expressway, the third industrial development authority in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
Many of the 30-odd villages along the Noida-Agra toll road have moved court, seeking increased cash relief, regularisation of abadi land and allotment of developed plots.
In the first phase, the high court had heard only Noida and Greater Noida cases. Hearing in the Yamuna Expressway cases will begin post-Diwali.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has, along with other organisations, demanded that villages along the Yamuna Expressway, too, should be given a Noida/Greater Noida-like hike in terms of money and developed land. "We also want the state's rehabilitation policy be implemented with effect from 2001,"said BKU president Ajay Pal Sharma.
A total of 11 builders have planned one lakh houses in the area. In the initial phase, they are building 20,000 units.
Of them, 3,000 have been booked. A total of 21,900 applicants have been allotted residential plots by the authority. The authority has also reserved 10,000 hectares for a proposed airport in Jevar. Besides, a mega township - Yamuna City - proposed on 4,500 acres may also be jeopardised. Some educational institutions fall in the area the farmers are trying to reclaim.
Farmer leader Roopesh Verma said, "Last month, the Yamuna Expressway authority had announced a bonus of Rs 35 per sqm to farmers whose land was acquired to quell an agitation for increased compensation going on there. Who will accept this? We will wait for the high court order."
Farmers in Yamuna Expressway have alleged the authority is not doing anything for industries. New units would mean employment opportunities for local people. "No industry has been set up," said Virendra Dhada, farmer leader.
"The authority has projected to acquire 58,000 hectare of land. Of this, 10,000 hectares have been earmarked for an airport and aviation hub. The rest has been earmarked for residential, commercial and institutional purposes. There is no thrust on industries," said Dhada.
Even as the court will hear these cases, Yamuna Expressway farmers, whose land was acquired for the Formula One race circuit, have issued 'an open letter' to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, threatening to disrupt India's maiden Grand Prix if their demands were not met.