The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday caved in to pressure from the powerful farm lobby and scrapped plans to build a model township along the Yamuna Expressway at Tappal in Aligarh.
HT had first reported the plan to scrap the townships in its edition dated September 2.
Farmers in five districts through which the proposed 165 km expressway will run have been agitating for the last 38 days, refusing to part with their land unless they are paid compensation at the rate that was given to Noida farmers.
UP Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said Chief Minister Mayawati had taken the decision in the larger interest of the farmers.
The township at Tappal was one of five planned along the expressway. There was no information on the fate of the other four. Asked about it, Singh said: "There is no other township."
He added that the government had decided to pay adequate compensation to the farmers of Aligarh but if they did not want to give up their land, the township will not be built.
In view of stalemate between the farmers and the government over compensation, Aligarh District Magistrate K. Ravindra Naik had recommended to the state government on Wednesday that the township projects be scrapped.
Reacting to the government’s decision, Farmers’ Action Committee Chairman Manveer Singh Tewatia, who is leading the agitation, said the movement and hunger strike will continue as the farmers wanted the entire Yamuna Expressway project, and not just the township, scrapped
Infrastructure major Jaypee Infratech is developing the project. The company’s nodal officer in Aligarh, Sunil Sharma told HT that the government had sanctioned five townships on the expressway.
"In case the Aligarh project is cancelled, the government is bound to allot alternative land in Gautam Buddha Nagar where there is no dispute," he said.
"If Tappal and Agra township projects are shifted to Gautam Buddha Nagar, the company will be in profit because the former two areas will take ten years to develop whereas in Gautam Buddha Nagar it will take less time."