Greater Noida villagers demand higher compensation for their lands

August 5th, 2008 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Noida, Aug 5 (IANS) Over 1,000 villagers Tuesday laid a siege to the Greater Noida Authority office at Gamma, saying the compensation for their acquired agricultural lands was not adequate. The protesting farmers clashed with the policemen who tried to prevent them from entering the office.

They broke flowerpots in corridors of the office while some women protesters barged into the chairman’s office.

The agitating Greater Noida farmers threatened to immolate themselves if their demands were not met within the next 24 hours, starting Tuesday afternoon.

Expressing resentment against the compensation rates handed over to them for their agricultural lands, the villagers later launched an indefinite sit-in at the Greater Noida Authority’s office.

“We have given 24 hours to the authorities for meeting our demands. If our demands are not met, I and another member Mehndi Hasan will immolate ourselves here before everyone,” said Ram Dev Rawal, a member of Greater Noida Kisan Sangharsh Manch.

People from over 10 villages, including Ghori Bachera, Dabra, Saini, Ajaibpur, Muthrapur, Kadha, Raipur and Tusiyana, who were gathered at the authority office also raised anti-government slogans.

“This government is anti-farmer and anti-people. They are not bothered about the future of farmers, who have given their only prized possession to the government for its big projects,” said Rawal.

The villagers have demanded that the new land acquisition rates of Rs. 850 per sq. metre, announced by the state government in 2008, should be applied to their lands, too, which were acquired in 2006 for Rs.322 per sq. metre.

“We want the new rates to be applicable to our 2006 acquired lands too,” said Jagveer Nagar, a protesting villager.

The villagers also claimed that they have not been alloted yet the plot theyn were to get in lieu of their acquire farm lands. “The Greater Noida Authority has been delaying the whole matter,” said Vijay Kumar, a villager.

Lalit Srivastava, chairman of the GNIDA, said: “The demands of these farmers are totally unjustified. These people have already lifted their compensation amounts well under the prevalent rates announced by the state government. There is no reason for them to come and demand increase now.”

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