Notices to farmers over refusal to hand over land for airport
GREATER NOIDA: The Gautam Budh Nagar administration has started issuing notices to about 1,400 farmers, who have refused to give their agricultural land for the proposed international airport at Jewar. The administration has given 15 days’ time to these farmers, who are demanding higher compensation, to accept the compensation fixed by the government.
The move comes after the administration acquired more than 80% of total 1,239.14 hectares of land under phase-I of the mega project. The administration said that as per the section 76/77 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, it will start taking physical possession of remaining around 20% of land that belongs to these farmers.
“We are issuing notices to farmers, who have not received their compensation, to get the physical possession of their land as per rules. We have issued a public notice too. The farmers have time till November 26. Either they accept their compensation or we will deposit it with the court as per the section 76/77 of the land act. Once the compensation money will be deposited with the court, we will start taking physical possession of their land,” said Abhay Kumar Singh, sub-divisional magistrate, who is in charge of airport land acquisition.
Officials said that as per rules they can take possession of the disgruntled farmers’ land because more than 80% of farmers have already handed over their land for the project.
The administration needs to give ₹500 crore compensation to these 1,400 farmers.
Of around 1,400 farmers, who have refused to give their land for the project, 600 farmers are in Dayanatpur, 300 in Rohi, 50 in Parohi, 156 in Kishorpur and 140 in Ranhera. They have demanded that the compensation rate should be ₹3,600 per square metre (sqm) for their land. On August 15 last year, the UP government announced a rate of ₹2,300 to ₹2,500 per sqm for agricultural land. That announcement prompted agitation among 20% of farmers, who also filed pleas in the Allahabad High Court seeking higher compensation.
“We have been protesting for the past 14 months against the state government’s rate of ₹2,300-₹2,500 per square metre because it is unjustified. We are also fighting a case in the high court. We will not give our land if the government does not offer ₹3,600 per square metre rate to us. Also, how can the state government take physical possession of agricultural land when it is yet to rehabilitate those farmers, whose houses and land are coming in way of airport site. The court will do justice in our case,” said Ajay Pratap Singh, leader of Airport Kisan Sangharsh Samiti.
The Noida International Greenfield Airport project at Jewar is spread on 5,000 hectares of area that falls in 39 villages along the Yamuna Expressway, which connects Greater Noida with Agra. However, as part of the first phase of the project, the PwC — on behalf of Uttar Pradesh government — has sought environmental clearances for 1,239.14 hectares of land in six villages — Ranhera, Parohi, Rohi, Kishorpu, Dayanatpur and Banwari Bas. Under the phase-I, it has acquired more than 80% of 1239.14 hectares and developer for this project is expected to be selected on November 29 this year. The estimated budget for the Jewar airport project is ₹15,000-₹20,000 crore. The project is expected to be operational by 2022-23.