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Govt in a fix as Karchana farmers eye revised rates

The farmers’ agitation in Karchana has put the UP government in a fix.

Written by MAULSHREEE SETH | Lucknow |
January 22, 2011 4:59:19 am

Fears project-hit farmers in Bara may also ask for same benefits

The farmers’ agitation in Karchana has put the UP government in a fix. The farmers are demanding over four-fold increase in compensation and the benefits of the new resettlement and rehabilitation policy the government had announced to pacify the agitating farmers of Tappal in Aligarh district.

Karchana farmers,whose land was acquired a few years ago for a 1,320MW thermal power plant being set up by Jaypee group,say they should also get the benefits that are given to Tappal farmers.

In Tappal,after an agitation by landowners,the government hiked their compensation substantially — from Rs 4.25 to Rs 5.70 per square metre. It also gave them the benefits of the R and R policy which included an annuity at the rate of Rs 20,000 per acre per annum for a period of 33 years,with an annual increment of Rs 600 per acre,allotment of land for housing,and option of buying shares in the company.

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The problem for the government is that if it accepts the demand,similar demands will come up from other places,too. Just 30 km away from Karchana is Bara where land was acquired a few years ago for a 1,980MW power plant,which too be is being built by the Jaypee group. The farmers of Bara are keenly watching the goings-on in Karchana.

The land for Karchana project was acquired in 2007 and 2008,two years before the new R and R policy was announced in September 3,2010. The farmers were then paid compensation at the rate of Rs 3 lakh per bigha.

Now they want this to be raised to Rs 13 lakh per bigha which,they say,is the same that was paid to the farmers of Tappal. Moreover,they also want the benefits of the R and R policy.

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In Tappal too,the land acquisition was done about one-and-a half years before the new R and R policy was announced,they say.

“Land was acquired for the project from about 1,000 families who own over 2,500 bigha of land in eight villages. Our land was acquired by the government at very low rates and then given to a private company. Like Tappal,here also the farmers here have lost their source of earning and no land is available in the neighbouring areas,” said Raj Bahadur Patel,president of the Kisan Punarvas Sahayata Samiti,which is leading the protest.

In Bara,the land was acquired from the farmers in 2007. In the past,when the affected farmers of Bara held protests,the government had pacified them by assuring them that the JP group would build an ITI and a hospital. Now if the government bows to the farmers’ demand in Karchana,it can certainly expect another agitation in Bara.

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First published on: 22-01-2011 at 04:59:19 am

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