Lok Sabha elections 2019: Three villages to boycott polls over land payment
“No drinking water connection has been provided to the villages. No garbage collection takes place and sewage overflow is a perennial issue,” said Rampal Singh, a landowner from Dhana.Updated: Apr 28, 2019 01:02 IST
Residents of three villages near Manesar — Dhana, Bans Haria and Bans Kusla — have decided to boycott the Lok Sabha elections to protest the Haryana government’s notice, asking them to return the compensation paid to them for land acquisition.
They said that voters in more than 70 nearby villages, who have also been affected, are planning to boycott the elections and a decision will be taken in a mahapanchayat on Tuesday.
The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) had, in 2002, acquired 1,400 acres in these villages to build IMT Manesar and a compensation of ₹75 lakh per acre was fixed, the residents said, adding that since the compensation was less than the market rate, they approached the additional district judge, who enhanced it to ₹2.81 crore per acre in 2010.
Still unhappy, they challenged it in the Punjab and Haryana high court, which enhanced the compensation by ₹37.4 lakh per acre.
The villagers then moved the Supreme Court in 2013, asking for higher compensation and it was further enhanced in 2018 by an additional ₹4 lakh per acre. Farmers said they accepted the revised compensation but a private company filed a counterclaim, alleging the price was higher than market rates.
On February 8 this year, the court directed the HSIIDC to recollect the additional compensation of ₹35 lakh per acre paid to the farmers.
“The villagers won’t have anything left if the compensation is taken back,” said Rampal Singh, a landowner from Dhana, adding that they have met sitting MP Rao Inderjit Singh multiple times, but to no avail.
Singh added that despite land acquisition by the HSIIDC, no development has taken place. “A few villages near IMT have seen some development but the villages where the land was acquired haven’t seen any progress,” he said, adding that there is no public health centre or a government school in the villages and children have to travel in shared autos to reach the main city, which is unsafe.
“No drinking water connection has been provided to the villages. No garbage collection takes place and sewage overflow is a perennial issue,” said Singh.
According to the residents, the three villages have around 4,500 voters, of a population of approximately 15,000. “No one is hearing our plight or resolving the issues. Why should we vote?” said Rajendra Dhankar, another landowner.
Narhari Bangar, managing director, HSIIDC, said, “No notice has been issued to the landowners till now. However, if they have a grievance with the Supreme Court’s order, they should take legal action.”
First Published: Apr 28, 2019 01:02 IST