It took a year of peaceful protests for 3,000-odd villagers of Rojka Meo in Mewat district to finally get their due. They were given revised compensation of their land taken up by the government for developing an industrial township in the area.
On Thursday,a large number of villagers sat on a dharna on the Gurgaon-Alwar State Highway at Rojka Meo in Mewat district for seven hours. It was after this that a decision to hike their compensation by Rs 21 lakh per acre was reached.
The villagers have agreed to withdraw references and litigations filed in the district court against Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation (HSIIDC).
People from nine villages had been sitting on a dharna since May last year demanding increased compensation for around 1,600 acres of land acquired by HSIIDC in 2009-2010 for developing an Industrial Model Township in the district.
The state department paid an initial compensation of approximately Rs 25 lakh per acre to nearly 3,000 land owners. However,soon after,villagers complained that these rates were much lower than that paid by the state for land acquisition in adjoining Sohna block,simply because it is a part of Gurgaon district.
Villagers alleged discrimination and demanded that their compensation be revised.
According to local MLA Aftab Ahmed,it was finally the chief ministers intervention that led to the compensation being hiked by an additional Rs 21 lakh per acre. The villagers who were squatting on the highway since 8.30 am on Thursday gave an ultimatum that they will only move once they get an affirmation from the government.
We had been in talks with the government. It was finally decided that the compensation be increased from the earlier Rs 25 lakh to Rs 46 lakh per acre. The circle rates in the area are approximately Rs 24 lakh but it was Rs 16 lakh when the land was demarcated and acquired by the state department, Ahmed said.
The villagers displayed tremendous patience despite the time it took to reach a solution. Now that the roadblock is cleared we are hoping that things would begin to move on the ground. We need to encourage industries here and generate more jobs, he said.
When asked whether their demands of getting jobs in industries (a part of the states compensation and rehabilitation policy) was also promised by the CM,the MLA said those demands will be looked into,depending upon the qualification of applicants. This will help raise the basic slab for compensation rates in the district which is already stricken with poverty and unemployment,he said.