BKU extends support to farmers of Ghaziabad’s 26 villages over equitable compensation
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) on Monday extended its support to the farmers whose land was acquired for the phase 4 of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) project. These farmers from 26 villages of Ghaziabad have been agitating for the past several years for an equal rate of land compensation and also demanding a service road along the expressway from Modinagar to Mohiuddinpur.
The DME phase 4 is 32km long and connects Dasna in Ghaziabad to Meerut.
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, who is spearheading the farmers’ protest at the UP Gate in Ghaziabad against the Centre’s three new farm laws, addressed a gathering of around 800 farmers at a panchayat near DME’s Bhojpur toll plaza.
“We have been protesting against the farm laws for the past nine months. We will also support the farmers of 26 villages and pursue their demands for equal land compensation and the service road. You (the farmers) should continue the fight against the UP government and should ‘treat’ them when they come to seek votes,” Tikait said while addressing the panchayat.
“This fight will be taken forward and this road (DME) will help us to take our fight (of demand for rollback of three farm laws) to different parts of the country. This region (western UP) has always helped us in our agitation. We will, along with affected farmers, meet NHAI officials and district administration officials,” he added.
Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that they have no issues if farmers come for discussion about the points raised on Monday. “The land compensation has been given in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act. The expressway manual guidelines have been followed for the DME and there is no provision of service road near to the expressway,” said Mudit Garg, project director, NHAI.
Ghaziabad district magistrate RK Singh was not available for a comment on the issue.
The phase 4, along with phase 2 (UP Gate to Dasna), were opened to the public in April this year. According to NHAI estimates, the six-lane phase 4 linking Ghaziabad to Meerut is used by about 40,000 passenger car units per day.
Since November last year, hundreds of farmers have been continuing with their agitation at the UP Gate protest site, demanding rollback of three new farm laws and seeking a new law on minimum support price.