The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the Punjab government to inform the court about the actual compensation paid to around 4,000 farmers of Punjab till date whose cultivable land falls in the area of the border fencing and the international border between India and Pakistan.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Ajay Tewari also directed the Centre to inform as to where its proceedings regarding land acquisition of farmers had reached. The court also asked the central government to inform how much time would it require to complete the process.
During the hearing of the case on Friday, the court was informed by the counsel appearing for the petitioner, Punjab Border Kisan Welfare Society, that the farmers had not received the total compensation till March this year.
The state government had been paying a compensation of Rs. 3,000 per acre to border farmers per year, but the high court was of the opinion that the central and state governments should reconsider the amount to be paid to farmers.
The petitioner society, having members in the border districts of Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur and Tarn Taran, had approached the high court, seeking directions to the state government that their land measuring around 34,000 acres should be acquired as per the Land Acquisition Act and they should be adequately compensated. It had been prayed that the barbed-wire fencing of 40-80 ft width installed at about 500-metre distance from the Line of Control throughout the India-Pak border area of Punjab in 1985-86 be removed so that they could cultivate their land and have the right to enjoy the benefit of the crops produced.
It was also submitted that the farmers were not allowed to produce crop of more than 4-ft height and the output was always less than 50% for every crop. The case would now come up for hearing on August 22.