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World Culture Festival: Hopes crushed with crop, farmers talk about compensation

50-odd families are affected by preparations for the World Culture Festival.

Written by Abhishek Angad | New Delhi | Updated: March 10, 2016 6:31 am
World Culture Festival, yamuna floodplains, farmers wants compensation, farmers affected by world culture festival, indian express, india news, delhi news The families affected by World Culture Festival cultivate the land given by them to ‘contractors’ and in return pay a fixed amount to them.

Barely 100 metres away from Noida Link Road near Mayur Vihar Phase 1 Metro station in the Yamuna floodplains, Ramshri’s family was the first among the 50-odd families affected by preparations for the World Culture Festival. These families earn livelihood as tenant farmers. They cultivate the land given by them to ‘contractors’ and in return pay a fixed amount to them.

At about 1 pm Wednesday, Ramshri sat on a cot in the field and gazed at ‘her’ patch of land where a bulldozer ran through two days ago to make way for vehicles to be parked during the event. She and her family of eight had hoped for good produce of spinach, mustard, fenugreek leaves and cauliflower. Their crop and hopes lie crushed.

Watch video | Sri Sri Event Gets NGT Go-Ahead: The Details

Ramshri is hoping there she will be compensated. “Two days ago, people came and bulldozed the farm land to pave way for vehicles to pass. Most of the spinach and mustard cultivation is gone now.”

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She added that authorities have stopped water supply on one side of farm land. “If the spinach had grown a little more, I could have at least used the seeds for sowing it for the next crop. Now, I can’t even use it.”

Ramshri and her husband came to Delhi 20 years ago to work as tenant farmers. The family moved to this location about eight months ago and was cultivating 10 bighas of land. “We have suffered a minimum loss of Rs 20,000 due to the event. We have heard that we will be compensated Rs 4,000 per bigha,” she said.

The new paved way has divided their farm area in two parts. A few metres from Ramshri’s hut, another family is working hard to get access to water in another part of their land. Kishan, who has been farming at this place for the last 15 years, directed his brother to bridge the now divided land for free flow of water.

Kishan, who cultivates five bighas, said one of the contractors had given them permission for a short supply of water. “Most of our land falls on the side where they have stopped access to water. They say water will create muck and the vehicular movement will be in trouble. What about our trouble?”

Watch Video | World Culture Festival: NGT Asks Centre To Explain Clearances Given

As Kishan spoke to The Indian Express, a Delhi Traffic Police vehicle stopped near the recently dug area for water flow. An officer told Kishan he was not allowed to dig land for flow of water. “Meri naukri khaaoge kya tum? Paani nahi jayega yahan se. Raaste mein poora kichad ho jayega aur gadiya nahin jaa payengi (Will you cost me my job? Water will not flow from here as there will be muck all around and vehicular movement will be a problem).”

The officer advised Kishan to use iron pipes for water flow. When Kishan tried to reason that there wouldn’t be any muck, the officer responded, “Tera naam kya hai aur phone number de apna. Meri bhi jamin hai, chaar-paanch din mein bina paani ke koi fasal kharab nahi hota hai (Tell me your name and number. I too have land, the crop will not be destroyed without water in four to five days)” Kishan refused to give his mobile number.

The pradhan of farmers in the area said land of about 80 people had been affected. “They have bulldozed the whole area. There is police with them,” said Pradhan Subedar Singh Yadav.

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  1. A
    Aap
    Mar 10, 2016 at 7:56 am
    Use of army and now govt funds? Everything has become personal property for politicians. Will voters become slaves in near future?
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    1. M
      MyTake
      Mar 10, 2016 at 7:42 am
      This guy now finds a reason to link AOL with crop production! Viagra must have got into his head!
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      1. N
        N Ganapathi
        Mar 10, 2016 at 9:23 am
        It is an extravaganza to promote one's personal interest. The govt is providing all support including army persons to this private event. In turn AoL will going to spoil environment in and around Yamuna river.Why should govt extend all support to a private event. Out of this event the common people will get anything defenetly no. It will set a bad precedent. Who will rein the govt.
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        1. B
          BharatK
          Mar 10, 2016 at 9:29 am
          NEVER trust IE news.
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          1. P
            Parth Garg
            Mar 10, 2016 at 8:47 am
            Even NGT appears to have buckled under the clout of Sri Sri. 5 Crores is a pittance for him. An equal anount should go to the 50 families affected by the festival.
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