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In Dimple’s constituency,SP poll promise halts land acquisition

Compensate 6 times the circle rate,job for a member of land-losing family.

Written by Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Published: October 24, 2012 4:24 am

Compensate 6 times the circle rate,job for a member of land-losing family

The Samajwadi Party’s election promise of not acquiring fertile land and paying compensation six times the circle rate to the farmers is threatening to derail the proposed setting up of paramedical and engineering institutes in Kannauj — the Lok Sabha constituency of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple.

While many farmers are not ready to part with their land unless they are paid six times the circle rate,some insist that their land should not be acquired because it is fertile.

Before becoming Chief Minister,Akhilesh Yadav had represented Kannauj thrice in the Lok Sabha — in 1999,2004 and 2009. Dimple was elected unopposed to the Lok Sabha from Kannauj earlier this year after Akhilesh vacated the seat to become the CM. Several development projects were announced for Kannauj by Akhilesh after assuming office. These included setting up of an engineering college,a paramedical institute,a dairy plant,a PAC headquarter building,a central school,an intermediate college and a degree college for girls.

Since land was not available at the district headquarters,the administration chose Tirwa tehsil,about 18 kilometres from Kannauj,for the projects. In the first phase,the administration identified 56 acre-plot at Sakhauli and Siyapur Kachi villages for setting up an engineering and a paramedical institute along with a trauma centre.

The land belongs to as many as 142 farmers,most of whom are insisting on compensation which is six times the circle rate. The present circle rate in these village is Rs 27 lakh per acre for land on the main road,Rs 15 lakh per acre for land situated on an internal road and Rs 10 lakh per acre for other land.

Several rounds of talks have been held between the district administration and farmers,but the deadlock continues. The farmers,meanwhile,have formed a Kisan Sangharsh Samiti. “We are demanding only what is written in the SP’s poll manifesto. We will not settle for anything less,” said Janki Prasad Verma,a farmer whose two acres at Sakhauli village will be acquired for the projects.

Besides,the farmers want government job for one member of each affected family and a pucca house,which too were promised in the SP manifesto. They have also threatened to launch an agitation if the land is forcibly acquired.

Former MP Ram Bakhs Singh of BJP,who is associated with the farmers’ group,said,“We are not against development,but those affected should get adequate compensation otherwise they will be ruined. They are asking only what is promised in the SP manifesto.”

Others like Om Prakash Rajput,a resident of Siyapur Kachi and secretary of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti,are against acquisition of the land. “The SP had promised that it will not take fertile land. Most farmers here have only small holdings and if it is acquired,they will be ruined,” he said.

On the other hand,District Magistrate Adarsh Singh ruled out compensation which is six times the circle rate. “Already the circle rate of the area has been revised. It is on the higher side than the prevailing market rate. We cannot pay anything like six times the circle rate. I am hopeful that a solution will emerge after dialogue with farmers,” the DM said.

Local SP unit also opposes acquisition

Surprisingly,even Samajwadi Party leaders are against land acquisition. “When barren land of Gram Sabha is available,the government should better set up the engineering college there instead of taking away fertile land of farmers. District administration officials are misleading the government. I will apprise the Chief Minister about the reality,” Vijay Bahadur Pal,the SP MLA from Tirwa. “If the district administration takes the land forcibly,there will largescale protests,” Pal warned adding that the issue had attained political overtones and opposition parties,mainly the BJP,were trying to exploit the situation.

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