Over 250 farmers from about 17 villages in Noida hit the streets demanding developed plots and higher compensation from the Noida Authority on Tuesday. The farmers, who joined the protests under the banner of Kisan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (KBSS), started their rally from Spice Mall and headed for the Noida Authority office in Sector 6 but were stopped en route by the district administration and cops. Later, a group of around 80 farmers was escorted by the police to the Authority office where they presented a charter of their demands to chairman Balwinder Kumar.
Two companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) were deployed on the route to prevent any untoward incident.
The farmers whose land was acquired by the Noida Authority between 1976 and 1997 were part of the protest. “We want at least five per cent developed plots for those farmers who lost land during this time,” said a member of KBSS, Joginder Singh Awana. The farmers also demanded that the a b a d i land and homesteads of the affected farmers should not be touched by the Authority besides seeking quotas in jobs for their children.
“We also want higher compensation for the lands acquired ,” added Awana.
The chairman of Noida Authority, Balwinder Kumar, assured the farmers that he would chart out a solution to their demands within a week. “We are not fully assured of the promises given to us by the Noida Authority,” said farmer leader Jaiveer Kasana. “We will meet again this week to decide on our course of action,” added Kasana.
The villagers have decided to hold a panchayat in Ghijaud village of Noida on August 12 where they would chart out their action plan.
Meanwhile, several more farmers from at least two more villages in Noida – Nithari and Chauda – joined the the farmers who have filed writ petitions in Allahabad High Court. “Apart from five per cent developed plots, we have also demanded that all land that had been acquired from us in 1976 in sectors 25A and 32 be denotified because the Authority has not put it to use in the last 35 years,” said Ram Kumar Chaudhary, a petitioner from Nithari village.
Farmers also complained that there has been no reservation for their children in city schools. Balwinder Kumar, along with DCEO, C B Singh, held a meeting with principals of at least 20 schools to review this issue. “We have ordered school management committees to immediately update information regarding the number of seats they have allotted to children of farmers on their websites,” said DCEO C B Singh.
Schools like Apeejay, Modern Public School, DPS (Noida) and Ryan International School were supposed to provide quotas to children belonging to the weaker sections of society under different lease deeds signed with the Authority during allotment of land. “We have also asked these schools to strictly adhere to the quota systems in accordance with the lease deeds from the next academic session,” said Kumar.
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