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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Kherki Daula toll shift: Panchgaon farmers to approach NGT over toll land

gurugram Updated: Nov 07, 2019 23:27 IST
Rohit David
Rohit David
Hindustantimes
         

Farmers of the villages of Kukrola and Fazalwas, which fall under Panchgaon, have decided to oppose the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order last week to give away 50 acres of land for the construction of a toll plaza, out of 1,128 acres under litigation since 2011. The farmers say that the area is meant for a wildlife corridor and have called for a panchayat on Sunday, where they will decide their next step. Some villagers have said that now they will approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in this matter.

Prem Singh, a resident of Kukrola said, “Deer from the nearby forests come to our village. We had spotted a cheetah too a few days back roaming around in our farmland. How can they take our land?” Forest department did not say anything about the area being taken over by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the toll plaza. Subhash Yadav, district forest officer, said, “Kukrola hills come under the Aravalli plantation area. According to the Supreme Court order, only the hills come under the ambit of the forest.”

Sher Singh, another resident of Kukrola, said, “We’ll adopt the same policy like in Sehrawan where the locals opposed the land being taken by the NHAI to make the toll plaza and approached the NGT.” In 2017, the government of Haryana had announced that it will hand over 63 acres of land to the NHAI for the making of the toll plaza. After environmentalists took this matter to the NGT in 2018, the green tribunal ruled last December that this land cannot be given for development purpose as it belongs to the forest.

The Haryana government later identified 40 acres of land in Panchgaon. Following the HC order of October 31, the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) will transfer the land to the Gurugram Municipal Development Authority (GMDA) in a day or two. The GMDA will then give it to the NHAI. Dr Narhari Bangar, MD, HSIIDC, “We will be giving the 50 acres of land to the GMDA in a day or two.” Last August, the HSIIDC had deposited ₹30 crores for the land being taken in Panchgaon to the district revenue department, Gurugram. “The HSIIDC has to deposit ₹ 5-7 crores more for the land being taken. Further, we will give the compensation immediately and won’t delay anything from our side,” said an official from the revenue department.

The NHAI has said that the land they receive must be free from litigation. “The land that we receive from the government should have all the necessary clearances,” said a senior NHAI official. For the Panchgaon toll plaza land, forest clearance is still pending. “I am sure the GMDA will acquire the forest clearance before giving it to NHAI,” added Yadav.

The location where the new toll plaza is meant to come up is near Bikaner restaurant, on the main road of Kukrola 500 metres from the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway. Residents of Fazalwas said if the toll plaza is shifted to Panchgaon it will create jams and lead to pollution. Suresh Devi, a resident of Fazalwas said, “My land is going and if the toll plaza is made it will be worse than Kherki Daula. It will be hard for us to enter our village, as we’ll face traffic congestion.” Inside the village of Fazalwas and Kukrola, shifting of the toll plaza is the only subject up for debate amongst locals. Virender Singh, resident of Kukrola said, “Why can’t the NHAI take this toll plaza to Bilaspur three kilometres from Panchgaon? They only want to make a new toll plaza, grab our land. We are going to oppose every move by the government to take our land.” Some residents say that ever since their land came under litigation, they have not got any benefit from the government schemes. Sube Singh, resident of Kukrola said, “We can’t go and get a Kisan Credit Card made in a nearby bank, as the bankers say that our land is under litigation. No one is listening to our plea.”