On the last day of the public hearing on the Jewar airport project, Yogesh Sharma was surrounded by a group of farmers in Dayanatpur village, holding three sheets of paper. While one was addressed to the district administration, the other two were for Prime Minister. “We want the right price for our land and decent compensation for our families,” said Sharma.
Over the last week, the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration held a series of public meetings with residents of eight villages in Jewar tehsil where land for the airport is expected to be acquired in the first phase.
“The public hearing took place after a social impact assessment report was submitted by experts from Gautam Buddha University,” said Prasun Dwivedi, sub-divisional magistrate and nodal officer for the hearing.
One of the initial hurdles to the project seems to be from landowners in these eight villages. The sheet of paper which Sharma was holding had a list of 12 demands — “Rs 7,000 per square metre compensation; 20% ownership right of the acquired land; a deadline for providing compensation to farmers; Rs 10,000 per month pension to the head of each family who is older than 60 years; tax-free compensation”, among others.
On the issue of rehabilitation, residents demanded that all landowners be provided accommodation near the Yamuna Expressway.
Dwivedi added, “Their demand is that compensation be given on the basis of it being agricultural land. As per the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, the compensation for rural areas will be four times the circle rate as opposed to twice for urban areas. However, land which is being acquired for the project has been notified as an urban belt by the government. We are looking into their concerns.”