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Why farmers are up in arms

india Updated: Aug 15, 2008 00:24 IST
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Here’s why farmers in Greater Noida are up in arms: The Uttar Pradesh government is offering them Rs 850 per sq mt, at least 20 times less than the market rate, for land it is acquiring for various projects.

The same land, sold commercially, would fetch the farmers Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 per sq mt, depending on the location. “The circle rate [lowest rate of land that attracts stamp duty] in villages flanking GT Road is Rs 8,000 per sq mt. However, as per government-offered rates, that is calculated to be Rs 850,” said

social activist Rupesh Verma. This means that the government refuses to recognise the actual land value, holding it to be much lower in order to shell out lesser compensation.

Ironically, the rates offered by the government were even lower – between 2006 and 2008, it offered a mere Rs 320 per sq mt.

“There are six authorities acquiring land in Gautam Buddh Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh’s smallest. This is simply an attempt to grab our land,” said Radhacharan Bhati, of neighbouring Nayi Basti village.

Reacting to Wednesday’s clashes, which claimed four lives, the state government removed Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority CEO Lalit Srivastava. However, he stays on as chairman of the body. The government ordered a judicial inquiry into the clashes between police and farmers.