We have to sell land & homes, start anew: Why Jewar farmers insist on a 'fair price' -Shafaque Alam
-The Times of India
JEWAR: There’s no storm blowing around Bhagwan Singh. Spread out on a charpoy in his spacious two-storey house, Singh’s manner mirrors the somnolence of this August afternoon. He is in no rush; not to talk, not to go anywhere. And certainly not to sell his land.
Singh is headman of Rohi, the village that virtually holds the veto on land acquisition for the UP government’s prestige project —Jewar international airport. More than a third (481 hectares) of the 1,263 hectares the UP government has to immediately acquire in the first phase is in Rohi.
Earlier this week, during negotiations with the government, residents of Rohi refused to accept the rate being offered for their land — up to Rs 2,500 per square metre. They stuck to their demand of four times the circle rate, which is Rs 3,600 per sqm (1 hectare is 10,000 sqm).
Frustrated government negotiators have since gone public with their views that the airport project may have to be moved elsewhere if the farmers do not scale down their demand. Even chief minister Yogi Adityanath has asked them not to be too rigid on prices. But farmers say all they want is to secure their futures, and need the money they receive to settle elsewhere, buy land and fund their children’s education.
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