Farmers have refused to part with their land for the Uttar Pradesh government’s 400-acre wholesale food market proposal in Sector 28 along the Yamuna Expressway.
The UP government proposed to set up a wholesale food market on the lines of Marché International de Rungis in Paris, the capital city of France. It is the largest wholesale food market in the world — spread over 573 acres. Over 13,000 people are employed in the market.
Officials said that the project will fuel the local economy, benefit farmers and provide cheap food items, including vegetables and fruits, to Delhi-NCR residents.
A majority of the farmers here have refused to part with their land. The Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority (YEIDA) had started acquiring agricultural land for the project in October 2016, following instructions from the state chief secretary.
As chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was keen on the project, then chief secretary Deepak Singhal on October 27, 2016, had conducted a helicopter survey of the land. Singhal had directed officials to start work on the project by October-end but there has been no headway in the project till date.
“A majority of the farmers who own the 400 acres have filed petitions in the Allahabad high court refusing to give their agricultural land for the purpose. A small part of the land (surveyed for the project) is free from litigation. We will shift this project to another area where there is no dispute,” Amarnath Upadhyaya, the additional chief executive officer (ACEO) of YEIDA, said.
Farmers said that the government officials acquire their land for a cheap price.“The government does not work for the betterment of farmers. It acquires agricultural land at cheap rates and sells it for a higher price. Therefore, we will not give our land to the Yamuna authority,” Mukesh Bhati, a farmer from Mirzapur village, said.
Vegetable traders from Meerut had visited the land and expressed an interest in buying land to set up a wholesale food market, but the authority has decided to invite traders afresh.
“We are in possession of commercial land along Yamuna Expressway. We hope to identify 400 acres along the expressway soon,” Upadhyaya said.