Land acquisition for Ferozepur-Patti rail link: Farmers seek higher compensation
Farmers of three villages, whose lands are being acquired for the proposed Ferozepur-Patti railway track, on Monday demanded the district administration to ensure higher compensation for their land from the Railways.
An estimated 121 acres and more than five dozen houses, besides a few religious buildings, will be acquired for the project.
Farmers from Qutub-Ud-in Wala, Kale Ke Hithar and Dula Singh Wala villages of Ferozepur district in a memorandum to the deputy commissioner, Amrit Singh, demand higher compensation for their land.
“The government wants to acquire our land at throwaway prices. The laying of the rail track on our land will not only affect our livelihood but also make farming difficult on the adjoining land,” said Ravinder Singh of Dula Singh Wala village.
“The threat of flood looms large as our village is located on the banks of the Sutlej. Now the acquisition of land for the rail track will hit our livelihood badly. Therefore, one member of the family should be given a job,” demanded Nasib Singh of Kale Ke Hithar village.
“We can’t accept the meagre compensation of ₹10-15 lakh per acre. Farmers should be paid ₹80-90 lakh per acre,” said Parwinder Singh, another farmer whose land will be acquired.
The farmers said in case if the government did not listen to their demands, they will be left with no other option but to launch an agitation.
Meanwhile, officials said the rate will be fixed according to the price of an acre of land sold or purchased in the last three years. Keeping the same price as the base rate, farmers will be getting four times more than the base rate as compensation.
Nine years have passed since the 25.47-km Ferozepur-Patti rail link project was given a green signal; the Punjab government has failed to acquire the land for the project.
Om Parkash, sub-divisional magistrate, Ferozepur, acknowledged the demands raised by farmers and added that they were trying to resolve the matter and discussions were on with the farmers and hopefully it would be resolved soon.
The rail link, vital from the commercial point of view, will shorten the distance between the northern states, including Punjab and the capitals of Gujarat and Maharashtra. It will also shorten the distance between Ferozepur and Amritsar. It would also inter-connect the Malwa and Majha regions of Punjab and shorten the distance between Jammu and Mumbai by 267 km.
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