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    Greater Noida farmers demand more for land

    Noida: The agitating farmers of Bhatta Parsaul are not against land acquisition per se, but claim they've been given a raw deal, because there is a huge gap between the selling price and the cost at which the UP government has acquired their land.

    Harender Malick's family has been living in Parsaul village for generations. If the government has its way, then Malick's house will also be acquired along with his 55 acres of agricultural land for the urbanisation plan along the Ganga and the Yamuna Expressways.

    Malick feels shortchanged because he says while he will be paid by the 2007 rates, which was Rs 1050 per metre in Greater Noida, now the rates have doubled. So he says that is the amount he should be paid now.

    "The government says if your land figures in the list of lands for acquisition, then be it residential or agricultural, it will be acquired and farmers will have to accept compensation," said Harender Malick.

    "We don't have any others skill. We just know farming. If half of our lands are left to us at least we will be able to earn a living," said Bhatta Parsaul resident Poonam.

    The cost at which the government has acquired land, varied across different places in UP.

    While at Mathura it may cost Rs 440 per square metre, in Noida it costs as much as Rs 1100 per square metre.

    "We should at least get double the compensation that we are getting right now. Wherever we go we will need money to buy land as well as construct a house," said another Bhatta Parsaul resident Babli.

    Meanwhile, the corporate groups, that have been facing the wrath of the villagers, don't buy this argument.

    "We have not acquired at a pittance, we won the land as a part of a bidding process and we have paid Rs 900 crore as per the circle rate of that time," said Manoj Gaur of Jaypee Group.

    But the farmers are not buying this logic. They say they have been wronged. But in this battle over the cost of land, there are no clear answers to who is right and who is wrong.