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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

Last updated on: November 10, 2010 15:37 IST

Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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Sharat Pradhan
A masterstroke by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has paved the way for fulfillment of Jaypee Group's dream to develop a hi-tech township along the much sought after Yamuna Expressway connecting Delhi to Agra on the fast track.

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Image: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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The plan that was shelved last September, following violent protests by farmers in and around Tappal town in Aligarh district, is all set to be revived thanks to an alluring offer by the Mayawati government as part of its revised policy for acquisition of agricultural land for development projects.

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Image: Jaypee project.

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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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Disclosing this, state cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said that the plan for building a hi-tech township around Tappal town in Aligarh district was being revived in the wake of popular demand by the same farmers who had raised objections against it.

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Image: A passenger bus is set on fire during a protest by farmers demanding higher compensation for land.
Photographs: Brijesh Singh/Reuters.
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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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"A delegation of 60 farmers from Tappal called on the chief minister and pleaded for revival of the scheme together with the revised compensation package offered by the government and the chief minister has very graciously conceded their request", said Singh, while presenting a group of farmers at the press conference.

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Image: Stick-wielding protesters, mostly women, demonstrate as they demand higher compensation for land.
Photographs: Brijesh Singh/Reuters.
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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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"The farmers were armed with affidavits sworn by as many as 500-600 farmers ,who were keen on accepting the terms set by the government on September 3 last ,for acquisition of any land belonging to farmers", he added. The announcement brought the violent agitation to an end.

"With the change in the farmers' stand, we have agreed to give them the new package that was otherwise not admissible to acquisitions made prior to September 3", Singh pointed out.

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Image: Farmers attend a protest in New Delhi.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters.
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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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The revised terms do not permit acquisition without the express permission of the land owner, through a written agreement. The price of the land will be finalised through a negotiated settlement between the government and the land-owner.

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Image: Farmers work on their flooded vegetable field at Tihera village near Agra.
Photographs: Brijesh Singh/Reuters.
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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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A handsome annuity at the rate of Rs 20,000 per acre for a period of 33 years ,during which period it would be given an annual hike at the rate of Rs 600 per acre ;however every affected farmer would also have the option to go for a one-time payment at the rate of Rs 240,000 per acre."

Besides, one member of the affected farmer's family would also be entitled to consolidated wages of Rs 185,000 towards employment for a period of five years.

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Image: Farmers work in the fields.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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Yet another sop offered to the farmer was a binding on the benefiting company (for whom land were to be acquired) to reserve 25 per cent of its shares for affected farmers, who would have the choice to go or not to go for the same.

The affected farmer would be allowed to keep 7 per cent of his acquired land for the purposes of building a home for himself.

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Image: Labourers push a cart loaded with bricks over a flyover in New Delhi.
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters.
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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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The 165 km expressway, which is expected to reduce the driving time between New Delhi and Agra to just about 90 minutes, will pass through Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar (Hathras) and Mathura, and involves acquisition of land in 115 villages.

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Image: A farmer with sugarcane in Bagphat, Uttar Pradesh.
Photographs: Reinhard Krause/Reuters.
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Land acquisition? Take lessons from Mayawati

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A total of 2,500 hectares of land were to be acquired for the development of the expressway - 500 hectares each in Noida, Aligarh and Agra and 1,000 hectares in Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida and Greater Noida).


Image: Expressway construction.

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