With an aim of pressing for their demands of fair compensation for the land to be acquired by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), affected farmers of district Budgam under the banner of Land Owners Welfare Committee protested near Deputy Commissioner office Budgam on Saturday. The protesting farmers in their unique style once again did a Nukkat Natak (Play) to press for their demands.Large number of farmers from B K Pora , Chadoora , Budgam and Narbal tehsils of Budgam district on Saturday appeared at DC Office Budgam. The protesting farmers after performing the street play went inside the DC office complex and handed over the memorandum to the DC.“The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) pays adequate compensation to the farmers / other persons whose land and property is acquired for construction of highways in other states of India. 4 times in Rural areas , 2 times in Urban areas, but not in J&K as Right to Fair Compensation under Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCLARR Act 2013) enacted by Govt of India in 2013 is not applicable in our state. Our land is being forcibly occupied by NHAI and J&K Govt is its collaborator. NHAI is also not ready for Private Negotiation which is a provision in J&K Land Acquisition Rules “said Raja Muzaffar Bhat Convener of Land Owners Welfare Committee who handed over the memorandum to DC Budgam Dr Sehrish Asgar.
Details available reveal that DC Budgam came out and addressed the agitating farmers. She assured that this matter would be taken upon with the Government. “ Your grievances are genuine and I will forward your demands to Government and I hope the matter would be resolved very soon “ said Deputy Commissioner Budgam Dr Sehrish while addressing the crowd of farmers.“Indian Railways recently paid 5 time more compensation than market land to affected farmers in Gujrat and Maharashtra for Ahmedabad Mumbai Bullet train project. The assessment made for fruit trees is also very less. Mere Rs 16 / Kg is paid to apple farmers who trees would be axed down . For Plum fruit estimate is made @ Rs 13 / Kg only while as this fruit sells 5 times more in market. 2000 fruit trees will be axed in Budgam district alone “ said Ghulam Qadir another protesting farmer.“ Instead of coming to rescue of people or pleading our case, J&K Govt especially District Administration and Collectors are trying to snatch our land and to handover the same to NHAI against v small compensation . Where shall the landless farmers go ? We can’t even purchase new land as compensation paid is very meager. The market rate is 2 to 3 times more than stamp rate in most of the affected villages . The plan to pay us stamp rate of land plus 15 % Jabirana ( Solatium) for the acquired land is totally unacceptable to us and we will resist this tooth and nail “ said G A Paul farmer leader. (CNS)