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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Expressway project: Punjab farmers boycott public hearing for land acquisition

Punjab farmers also opposed the land acquisition for the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway because the government was not listening to the genuine grievances of the people protesting at Delhi borders.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
January 22, 2021 4:28:48 am
Punjab farmers boycott public hearing, Punjab land acquisition, Punjab Expressway project, Chandigarh news, Punjab news, Indian express newsThe public hearing was organised by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). (Representational)

Farmers boycotted the public hearing held for acquisition of land for the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway at Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthala district) and Lohian (Jalandhar district) on Thursday. They also opposed the land acquisition because the government was not listening to the genuine grievances of the people protesting at Delhi borders.

The public hearing was organised by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The agricultural land of several districts of Punjab is being acquired for this project. The farmers’ objections were to be listened to in this public meeting but the farmers boycotted the meeting. Protesting under the banner of Expressway Sangharsh Committee, the farmers raised slogans against the land acquisition. They said not even an inch of land will be given to the NHAI for this project as they already have small landholdings.

Prabhdyal Singh Saidpur, president of the committee, said that without their consent or even knowledge, the NHAI officials surveyed their agricultural land amid the standing crops which suffered damage too.

Cultivable land is being acquired for such projects which will render several farmers landless, he added.

A farmer who owns a farm house on Jalandhar-Kapurthala road said that he will be rendered landless if this project comes up.

Committee official Jagjit Singh Lalian said that farmers of eight districts of Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Sangrur, Ludhiana, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Patiala have already decided not to give an inch of land for this project. District-level committees have been formed to oppose it. They also demanded that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh should support farmers by cancelling the Centre’s project.

The farmers did not listen to PPCB and NHAI officials. After getting an assurance from the district administration that their concerns will be brought to the notice of the higher authorities, they walked out.

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