Farmers,whose land had been acquired by the state government for setting up the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in Faridkot,is set to approach the Supreme Court as a part of the acquired land had been handed over to the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) for development of residential colonies.
In May 1999,the then SAD-BJP government had earmarked 153 acres of land on the Faridkot-Talwandi Road for the university. Out of this,while 122 acres was acquired from the farmers,31 acres belonged to the state government. At that time,the farmers were paid Rs 100 per sq yard for the land.
However,in course of time,the state government decided to set up the university within the existing Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital complex. In February 2011,the state government handed over 86 acres of land to PUDA for construction of colonies.
In February last year,a group of farmers had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court,which at first had stayed activities of PUDA on the land and later dismissed the plea of the farmers. PUDA expects to earn Rs 172 crore from the upcoming colony comprising 561 plots.
We gave up this land for public use and not for construction of a colony. We were paid a pittance and now,the state government is trying to earn crores. In case this land is lying free,the government should return it to us, said farmer Sukhchain Singh.