Land acquired for fencing: Border farmers yet to get compensation in Punjab
Farmers of 220 villages along the Punjab border owned the land.punjab Updated: Jun 06, 2017 14:20 IST
Majority of the farmers whose land is situated between barbed fence and international border are still being deprived of compensation.
As per the information available a sizeable portion of the money allotted by the Centre and state government was spent on ‘other tasks’ by the then state government before assembly elections to woo voters.
The Centre had acquired farmers’ lands to install barbed fence and provide a passage for the security forces.
Farmers of 220 villages along the Punjab border owned the land.
The Punjab and Haryana high court had approved an annual compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre on March 3, 2014.
The Centre and state government were supposed to contribute 50-50 share in the compensation money.
The then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had even distributed cheques at Khalra in Tarn Taran district on November 30. He had ordered all the DCs concerned to disburse the compensation money within a week, but the reality is different.
Over 70% beneficiaries in Tarn Taran have received compensation but mostly beneficiaries in Ferozpur, Pathankot, Fazilka, Amritsar and Gurdaspur are still waiting.
“We were given three cheques of Rs 27,000 each as we are three brothers. But we have visited the concerned officer many times. They say that there is no money and compensation will be paid when money comes,” said Pargat Singh of Thathi Jaimal Singh village of Tarn Taran district.
Another farmer Surjit Singh Bhoora said, “The government officials have also asked few beneficiaries to give back the cheques and that new cheques will be issued once the treasure receives money.”
“The compensation money was used for pension schemes and other infrastructure projects to woo voters during elections. The border farmers are still suffering,” said Border Area Farmers Welfare Committee president Raghbir Singh Bhangala.
Former MLAs and SAD leaders including Virsa Singh Valtoha, Gulzar Singh Ranike and Harmeet Singh Sandhu had also raised the issue of taking the cheques back a few days ago. Tarn Taran deputy commissioner DPS Kharbanda said, “Only few farmers have not been got compensation,”
“Once the money is released, it will be distributed among the farmers.” said Tarn Taran deputy commissioner.