After a meeting on Friday, farmers have decided that they will not let authorities begin work on the 135km Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) project that will pass through their area, until the land compensation is hiked.
The decision came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the project in Panipat on Thursday.
The ring road-like expressway will pass through Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and parts of Delhi. It is likely to take at least 70,000-80,000 vehicles off the city roads. The NHAI needs to acquire land from 39 villages in Gautam Budh Nagar for the expressway, which was proposed in 2005.
“In the meeting, we convinced farmers of 39 villages not to rent any space to NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) officials who want to set up offices to begin work on the expressway project. We want compensation to be hiked first,” said Teja Gujjar, member of the Eastern Periphery Expressway farmers’ association.
Greater Noida farmers said they have been offered only Rs 850 per square metre for their land and are demanding Rs 5,508 per square metre.
Farmers also want a change in alignment of the expressway, which will save a number of houses in their village.
A Gautam Budh Nagar district level committee, headed by former sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Bachchu Singh, were unable to resolve the land rate issue over the last six months. Singh has been replaced by Subhash Yadav as the SDM.
“Some farmers have filed cases in the Gautam Budh Nagar district court, refusing to give land for the Eastern Peripheral Expressway project because they are not happy with the compensation, thereby delaying the project. We are talking to farmers to resolve the issue. We hope to resolve land compensation issues amicably soon, with the farmers’ support,” said NP Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar.