Ghaziabad farmers welcome land takeover quashing

August 24th, 2011 - 12:45 am ICT by IANS  

Ghaziabad, Aug 23 (IANS) Thousands of farmers in three villages in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district had cause to celebrate Tuesday as the Supreme Court quashed the acquisition of their agricultural land for setting up a township for leather processing industry.

“Thanks to the anti-pollution committee, and the Supreme Court, the farmers will get their lands back. And, at the same time, all of Hapur City will be spared the pollution,” said a farmer.

The court set aside the 2006 government notification taking over farm land in Intori, Chaitoli and Sabli villages in Ghaziabad district to set up the “Leather City” township.

The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice H.L. Dattu, while allowing the petition by Devender Kumar Tyagi and others, said that “we hold that the declaration of notification dated Dec 18, 2006, is beyond the period of limitation as envisaged by the provision of the Land Acquisition Act”.

“We also hold that the state government was not justified, in the facts and circumstances of the case, to invoke the urgency provisions of the act.”

The land was acquired in the Hapur tehsil and neighbouring areas for setting up a township for the leather processing industry.

A farmer said: “The problem was that, in the name of providing an alternative to the already existing polluting industry, the administration decided to legalise pollution.”

“The Hapur Pilkhuwa Development Authority suspended section 5 and applied section 17 of the act for forcibly acquisition of farmers’ land. The Supreme Court, therefore, quashed the acquisition,” said Rajendra Tyagi, law officer of the authority.

A farmer from Intori village said: “The leather industry in Hapur had for years created pollution.”

“About 60 percent of the farmers had accepted the meager compensation. Some others who did not take the cheques, went to the court with the Hapur’s anti-pollution committee,” he said.

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