Greater Noida farmers protest outside MLA Tejpal Nagar’s residence for better land compensation
Around 400 farmers, including women, reached Nagar’s residence in Gurjar colony in Greater Noida’s Dadri around 1pm and expressed their anger over the “forceful land acquisition” for the expressway project.Updated: Aug 05, 2017, 22:25 IST
Farmers, whose land has been acquired for the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, surrounded on Saturday the residence of Dadri MLA Tejpal Nagar. The farmers are angry with the state government for acquiring land forcefully for the 135km Eastern Peripheral Expressway project that is aimed at decongesting Delhi roads.
Around 400 farmers, including women, reached Nagar’s residence in Gurjar colony in Greater Noida’s Dadri around 1pm and expressed their anger over the “forceful land acquisition” for the expressway project. They protested till 3pm and dispersed only after Nagar assured them of help on their demands.
“I will take up all issues raised by the farmers with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. I will also try to take a farmer delegation to the CM for addressing their issues related to land compensation,” Nagar said.
“We demand that our land be acquired for the project by implementing the provisions of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act that assures each farmer adequate compensation. If our demands of hiked compensation are not met, we will continue with our protest,” said Amit Bhati, a farmer leader from Bil Akbarpur village.
In Bil Abkarpur village, located along NH-91, many farmers are giving up their land for the project.
Farmers have been protesting for the last four months demanding increased compensation for their agricultural land earmarked for expressway. They blocked the Delhi-Howrah line railway line in Bodaki village on July 28 after the administration forcibly removed them from the expressway site. The police had filed FIR against 20 farmers for blocking trains.
Farmers say compensation awarded for land acquired for the expressway should be uniform. They demanded ₹7,000 per square metre (sqm) in place of ₹3,640 per sqm.
“If the state government will not give us compensation that is four times the circle rate, then we will continue our protest. All landless Dalits should get residential plots, men over 25 years should get government jobs and all cases filed against farmers should be dropped,” said Pappu Thakur, a farmer from Samadhipur village.
“If the state government will not drop cases then we will stage bigger protest ahead,” said Balraj Bhati, a farmer of Chithera village.
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.
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.