Demanding land compensation, farmers scale Ghaziabad water tank

Ghaziabad, Dec 14 (IANS) At least two dozen farmers on Monday climbed up a water tank tower here to press demand for compensation for nearly 1,000 hectare of land from four villages acquired in 1964 to establish the Central Government Offices (CGO) complex.

Around 700-800 farmers gathered for the protest, and around two dozen of them climbed up the water tank tower in the CGO residential colony.

The farmers have been demanding compensation for their 966 hectare, but no payment has been made till date, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rajvir Singh said, adding that they now want to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and inform him of the matter.

“At that time, the land was acquired at Re.0.48 per square yard. But after the farmers protested, the rate was revised to Rs.1.48 after then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru intervened. The Supreme Court in 2011 ordered to revise the acquisition rate at Rs.84 per square yard,” he said.

“But till date, no compensation has been given despite several representations and agitations.”

The farmers’ leader said Modi “is the only capable person to dispose of our dispute”.

“We shall remain on the water tank till time is granted to the farmers from the Prime Minister’s Office,” he said.

Top officials, including the city magistrate, deputy superintendent of police and a sub-divisional magistrate visited the site and assured the farmers that they were arranging a meeting with Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.

They said they will also submit a report to the state government to revoke the acquisition under a new provision that if acquired land is not used within the stipulated time of five years, the land may be returned to the farmers.

But the farmers did not agree.

“We are determined to meet the prime minister. We have seen such gimmicks in the past. This time we are not going to be fooled by such gimmicks,” the BKU leader said.

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