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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway: MLAs unite to seek higher compensation for land being acquired

The issue was raised during question hour by Lok Insaf Party (LIP) MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains who sought a revision in collector rates of the land.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
March 10, 2021 10:38:03 am
Simarjeet Singh Bains

Seeking higher compensation for the acquisition of farm land in Punjab to be used for Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway, Punjab legislators on Tuesday demanded a resolution or a piece of legislation to that effect on the penultimate day of Vidhan Sabha budget session.

The issue was raised during question hour by Lok Insaf Party (LIP) MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains who sought a revision in collector rates of the land. Bains said against market price of Rs 1.5 crore per acre, farmers were being offered Rs 15 lakh for an acre.

The matter was raised by Bains after Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar answered a question by Congress MLA H S Kamboj, who sought to know when the required funds would be made available for Banur sub-tehsil office which was in a shambles, and said proposal would be considered once the report from Mohali Deputy Commissioner was received.

AAP MLA and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema joined the issue and said farmers were protesting and forced to “commit suicides”.

Cheema pointed out that land in half of the districts in Punjab was coming under the proposed expressway. Cheema sought a resolution or a piece of legislation to address the issue. He also sought a special session of Vidhan Sabha on the issue.

Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that farmers whose lands would be acquired for the expressway would face a number of problems, including irrigation of their lands.

SAD MLA N K Sharma said the farmers would have no access to their farm lands across the expressway as it was proposed to be “seven to eight feet higher than their farm lands”.

Congress MLA and minister Charanjit Singh Channi while expressing reservations over the expressway said that “there should be a resolution by the House”.

Speaker Rana K P Singh asked the government to either give an assurance on the floor of the House or bring in a resolution.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra said the government was concerned about the issue and would come up with either an assurance or a resolution on the issue. “We agree with the farmers. Their basic concern has to be addressed,” Mohindra added.

SAD MLA Gurpartap Singh Wadala said since revision of collector rates was under the purview of the state government, it should be done with immediate effect.

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