New Delhi: Farmers from Jewar, the region in Gautam Budh Nagar district earmarked for the international airport project, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday and asked for increased compensation for their land.
Twenty six farmers from Rohi, Banwari Bas, Dayanatpur, Kishorepur and other hamlets in Jewar along with Dhirendra Singh, local MLA, and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) chief met the CM in Lucknow and handed over consent letters for the land acquisition process.
Despite a few initial hiccups, the required land for the first phase of airport project, 1,300 hectares, was acquired last week. The last hurdle of getting the consent of at least 70 percent of affected families in the region was also crossed.
By September 15, 4,210 families out of a total 5,926 affected families in Jewar had agreed to give their land, taking the percentage of consent granted for acquisition to over 71 percent.
On Wednesday, farmers handed over their consent letters to the CM and also raised a few concerns about their compensation and rehabilitation process.
“Yogiji had come to Gautam Buddha University on July 3 and asked us to give our land. He had promised our demands would be fulfilled,” said Tirlokchand Sharma, village pradhan of Banwari Bas.
Sharma was one of the 26 farmers who met the CM in Lucknow.
Presently, the farmers are getting Rs 2,300 per square metre as compensation. They want Rs 3,600 per square metre, four times the circle rate of Jewar land.
“If that doesn’t happen, we will settle for Rs 3,000 per square metre as well,” Sharma said.
According to him, the CM had assured the farmers about the rehabilitation process and said he will look into their demands for increased compensation. “He said we won’t be dissatisfied, but he did not speak clearly over what our increased compensation would be,” Sharma said.
Even after agreeing to give their land for the airport, many farmers remain sceptical about the rehabilitation process.
“We gave our land; we want the rehabilitation process of farmers to be implemented properly. At the time of rehabilitation, buildings, shops, electricity, water, sewer lines should be functional, said Harish Pandit, a farmer Banwari Bas, who also met the CM on Wednesday.
The CM, Pandit added, also assured them that he would talk to his officers and the MLA and deliberate over increasing the compensation.
Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh said the talks were constructive. “The CM talked for about 40 minutes to the farmers. He has not denied increased compensation but the process will take some time,” Singh said.
In the meeting, the UP CM also said that Noida and Greater Noida were seen in a bad light under the previous government and no businessman wanted to invest in the region.
The airport project had hit a roadblock when the land acquisition process missed the August 31 deadline. Following an extension, MLA Singh, District Magistrate and YEIDA authorities went on a village-to-village drive to get consent from doubtful farmers.
With consent acquired from at least 70 percent of affected families in the region, as mandated by the Land Acquisition Act, and over 95 percent of the 1,300 hectares needed for the first phase of the project also in the bag, the airport project seems to have taken off.
Once the consent forms are tallied and sent to the state government, Section 11, the first step of acquisition, would be implemented. The farmers say an acquirement notification will be issued in the coming week.