After regular monitoring by the Supreme Court, the Ghaziabad district administration has expedited disbursal of land compensation and the pending arbitration cases of farmers whose lands were acquired under the eastern peripheral expressway (EPE) project that envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal.
District magistrate (DM) Ministhy S, said on Wednesday that a total of Rs 26 crore was handed over to farmers as the major amount of over Rs 400 crore was pending for three major projects, including EPE, dedicated freight corridor and Delhi-Meerut Expressway project.
“The amount could not be disbursed due to a number of bottlenecks like pending cases, demands by farmers etc. We formed a committee of officials who discussed the pending issues with farmers and organised camps where nearly Rs 26 crore was distributed in two days. We are expecting that the pending amount will be disbursed within a month now as we will also be working on holidays,” the DM, said.
According to official estimates, amounts of nearly Rs 84 crore for EPE, Rs 214 crore for dedicated freight corridor and another Rs124 crore for Delhi-Meerut Expressway were pending to be disbursed to farmers. The official sources said that this had led farmers to stage protests and stall work often.
“Apart from this, there were nearly 900 arbitration cases and most of these have been decided by the executive court of the DM while some are pending in judicial court,” she added.
Under the jurisdiction of Ghaziabad district, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had to construct nearly 24.5kms of EPE project and the work often got stalled by farmers. The villagers have also demanded a service lane over the entire stretch of the expressway and the issue is yet to be fully decided on.
The apex court had earlier asked the Uttar Pradesh director general of police to provide security for the construction work of the expressway (EPE) as the work was stopped by farmers.
The NHAI had earlier told the Supreme Court Bench that no construction was being carried out in the 25-km stretch in Ghaziabad due to protests by farmers and lack of police protection, despite the apex court’s order. The officials now stated that the work has resumed and the pending issue of the service will be resolved as per NHAI guidelines.