G Noida: Farmers block trains, demand hiked land compensation
Farmers say compensation awarded for land acquired for the Eastern Peripheral Expressway should be uniform. They demanded ₹7,000 per square metre in place of ₹3,640 per sqmnoida Updated: Jul 28, 2017 22:09 IST
The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration and the police on Friday lodged an FIR against 20 farmers for blocking the passage of Haldia Express train on the Delhi-Howrah railway line that passes through Greater Noida.
Farmers sat on a protest at Bodaki village along Delhi-Howrah line, thereby blocking trains.
Farmers have been protesting near Bil Akbarpur village for the last four months demanding increased compensation for their agricultural land earmarked for 135km Eastern Peripheral Expressway. They decided to the block railway line after the administration forcibly removed them from the Eastern Peripheral Expressway site.
The expressway is meant to decongest Delhi with an aim to reduce air pollution in Delhi-NCR. The Supreme Court, in 2006, had directed the Centre to build the expressway as soon as possible. The National Highways Authority of India said 17km of the expressway falls in 39 villages of Greater Noida.
Farmers are demanding that instead of the Rs 3,640 per square metre compensation that they were promised, the district administration should pay them four times the prevailing circle rate. This roughly works out to Rs 7,000 per sqm.
The Eastern Peripheral Expressway is a project of national importance as the Supreme Court has ordered its construction. Farmers should fight for increased compensation at the right platform instead of blocking trains or protesting at the expressway site. If anyone disturbs law and order, we will take action,” said BN Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate this EPE on August 15 and the district administration is under pressure to settle farmer disputes. However, farmers are angry with the administration for filing an FIR and forcibly removing them from the EPE site.
“This is a democratic country and we have every right to protest. We were peacefully protesting in Bil Akbarpur. Why did the administration and police remove us? And now they are putting pressure on us to snatch our land. The UP government has paid Rs 17,000 per sqm as compensation in nearby Ghaziabad villages. In some cases, it has paid Rs 6,300 per sqm as compensation. Why should we give our land for Rs 3,640 per sqm?” said Sunil Fauji, a farmer leader named in the FIR.
“The land compensation rate should be uniform for all EPE farmers or they should acquire land under the 2013 Land Acquisition Act,” he said.
In 2006, the district administration had paid Rs 1,700 per sqm to farmers, who willingly gave their land for the project. Later, in 2016, then district magistrate NP Singh increased the compensation to Rs 3,500 per sqm. Now, DM BN Singh has decided to award Rs 3,640 per sqm, including Rs 5 lakh to each farmer family.
“A majority of farmers are willing to give their land for Rs 3,640 per sqm. But a few farmers, nurturing political ambitions, are provoking others. These leaders do not have land in these 39 villages,” the DM claimed.
Construction work on the EPE in Panipat, Faridabad and Ghaziabad and other areas, except Gautam Budh Nagar, is on in full swing.