Months after deciding to return the land acquired for Dadupur Nalvi canal in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district, the state government has decided to return over 300 acres to farmers of Sirsa, terming the housing project, for which the land was acquired, “non-viable”. The land was acquired in 2011 to develop two sectors in Sirsa town under Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).
Saying that the government should not recover the compensation amount along with interest as per a policy announced on September 5, Swaraj India party leaders, led by Yogendra Yadav, on Thursday met Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar seeking his intervention. After meeting the CM, Swaraj India’s Haryana unit president Rajiv Godara said, “We have urged the government not to force the farmers to return the compensation, along with interest, without their consent.”
“With the compensation amount, the farmers have already purchased land in far-flung areas or invested elsewhere. Now, the farmers won’t able to return the compensation along with interest,” said Yadav.
A senior official of HUDA told The Indian Express that the government felt that the project was not viable because of enhancement in compensation by court to the farmers. “The Punjab and Haryana High Court had given directions to make the payments to the farmers (by August 31). Then the government took a decision to denotify the land acquired to develop the sectors. However, a formal notification is yet to be issued,” said the official.
Under the provisions of the amended Act, the Haryana Cabinet on September 5 had framed a policy to prescribe the procedure for return of denotified “unutilised land”. Yadav has demanded that the amended Act be repealed, and termed it anti-farmer.
A HUDA official, however, claimed that the recovery of compensation along with interest has not yet been approved by the government in the case of Sirsa. “We have just proposed the recovery of compensation within 30 days,” said the official.