“Governments are treating farmers’ land as an agriculture produce for which they fix the price and then the same land is sold at market prices. Earlier farmers did not understand this, but now with their children being educated they can read how they have been cheated all these years,”
Dipak Kumar Dash | TNN
New Delhi: State governments behaving as ‘profiteers’ seem to be reason behind farmers’ agitation in the NCR that even led to the recent bloodbath in Greater Noida. While the governments have claimed that farmers are overlooking what pushed their land prices, land owners alleged the states are selling their land at exorbitant price to private players after buying at a very low price.
The complaints are same, whether it is in Greater Noida in UP or Kharkhoda or Faridabad in Haryana. It’s not much different in Delhi. Farmers’ bodies in the capital have been blaming the DDA of raking in huge profits by auctioning the land that the agency had acquired from them at throwaway prices.
Despite Haryana revising its resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) policy to push the land acquisition in the state by offering the highest financial compensation (maximum of Rs 70 lakh per acre), farmers have been protesting against farm land being taken for industrial development.
“Governments are treating farmers’ land as an agriculture produce for which they fix the price and then the same land is sold at market prices. Earlier farmers did not understand this, but now with their children being educated they can read how they have been cheated all these years,” said an activist Bhupender Singh Rawat of Jan Sanghrash Vahini, who was involved in the Ghodi Bachhera protest in Greater Noida.
Those who have been attending farmers’ protest in this region also pointed out how the official allotment rate in Greater Noida is in the range of Rs 15,840 and Rs 42,560 per sq m and how rates for commercial land allotment have been revised and now range between Rs 60,500 and Rs 1.37 lakh per sq m.
“The government notified land in 124 villages in Greater Noida nine years ago to connect Noida and Greater Noida with an expressway. It paid farmers Rs 50-300 per sq m. Today, in the same location, a private developer building Yamuna expressway and a 2,500-acre Sports City is selling plots at Rs 15,000 per sq m,” said Col Devinder Sehrawat, secretary of Delhi Gramin Samaj.
He added that when farmers see in front of their eyes how they have been ‘looted’ and private players are making huge
profit, they feel cheated. The land is being sold at 13-14 times more than that of the price the government paid to farmers.
Though the disparity is much more in case of Delhi where DDA is selling an acre of prime land at Rs 200-300 crore, it’s sparking no Noida-like protest. This is because most of this ‘land bank’ was created after acquisition of mass land decades ago.
The present compensation rate of Rs 53 lakh per acre in Delhi is also nowhere close to the rate at which DDA has been auctioning properties.
After Haryana brought progressive change in its R&R Policy, which included annual annuity payment to the farmers for 33 years, UP came out with even more popular policy. Though it announced to give a portion of the completely developed land to the affected farmers, things seem to be on the slow track.