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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Mahana says Unnaofarmers’ protest ispolitically motivated

cities Updated: Nov 20, 2019 00:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

LUCKNOW: Industrial development minister Satish Mahana on Tuesday said the farmers’ protest in Unnao was politically motivated and added that the state government was committed to completing the Trans-Ganga City Project, “which will pave the way for development in Kanpur and Unnao districts.”

Addressing a press conference here, Mahana said the residential and industrial project, developed by UP State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC), was launched under the Samajwadi Party government, which had acquired 1,144 acres of land of the farmers for Rs 237 crore.

The then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav publicized the township as a dream city. “While laying the foundation of the project, Akhilesh had stated that it will be developed at par with Singapore. The integrated city will be equipped with all the modern facilities. A promo was also released by the SP government to draw the attention of the investors and buyers,” Mahana said.

He added that around 2,065 residential plots were developed and 1,786 people deposited money for allotment of plots. The SP government revised the compensation to the farmers and paid Rs 237 crore, he said.

Even after acquisition of the land, the project remained pending though the state government floated a tender. Corruption during the SP government was an important factor for delay. Concerned over the delay, around 780 people withdrew their deposits. The SP government ordered to cut 25% from the deposit of the people who were demanding refund of their money, he said.

Mahana said when BJP took the reins of the state government in March 2017, it ordered payment of 6% interest to the depositors. A case was registered against the builders and the tender was cancelled. The state government later decided to start the pending project afresh. It also decided to construct a bridge from Sarsaiya ghat in Kanpur, connecting the posh localities of Kanpur, to the Trans Ganga City in Unnao. The aim was to develop a mega city that will have better facilities compared with the posh localities in Kanpur, he said.

Mahana said suddenly some farmers launched an agitation demanding higher compensation. The local administration controlled the mob and FIR was registered against 14 farmers, he said and added that during investigation it was found that a large number of farmers, whose land has not been acquired, had also joined the protest. Only one farmer whose land was acquired was named in the FIR. Some people were provoking the farmers to protest, Mahana said.

He said the situation there was normal and development work was continuing in full pace.

The agitating farmers on Sunday allegedly set ablaze a crusher plant and some plastic pipes in the open field near a power sub-station. On Saturday, the farmers clashed with police in which seven policemen were injured in stone-pelting. The police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to control the crowd, he said.