Punjab farmers protest against land acquisition for Delhi-Katra e-way project
Farmers from several districts of Punjab on Thursday staged a protest against land acquisition for the six-lane Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway project, with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) extending its support to them.
Hundreds of farmers from at least 22 villages of Ludhiana district reached the mini- secretariat in tractors and pickup trucks in the morning to hold a protest.
By afternoon, members the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee from Khanauri, Patran, Bhawanigarh, Nakodar, Kartarpur, Qadian and Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Tarn Taran also joined them.
They said instead of offering them the market rate, the government is giving them peanuts for acquiring the land.
An SKM delegation visited the deputy commissioner’s office and submitted a memorandum demanding stalling of the acquisition process. Harinder Singh Lakhowal, an SKM member, said, “We are not against development but the government should offer farmers the market rates. It is an open secret that there is always a variation between the actual land price and the registry rates. The government is offering ₹15-25 lakh per acre. It is peanuts,” said Lakhowal.
They will not allow the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to acquire an inch of land till their demands are met, he added.
Gurcharan Singh Hawas, a member of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, said it was a symbolic protest. “We will block all the highways in Ludhiana and will not lift the dharna till our demands are met,” said Hawas.
District revenue officer Joginder Singh said, “We received a representation from the farmer unions and have forwarded it to the government for consideration. The compensation will be paid as per the orders.”