With more and more farmers joining the chorus for higher compensation, a worried Noida Authority moved in to ease the tension on Monday. Authority chairman Balwinder Kumar visited Sorkha and Parthala Khanjarpur villages that have been leading the five-day-old agitation and promised that the villagers’ main demand — allotment of developed plots equalling 5% of their acquired residential land — would be met.
“Apart from 5% of the acquired land that will be developed and returned to farmers, there will be regularization of populated areas in the villages, and various other developmental works,” said Kumar. He termed the villagers’ main demands “genuine”, adding, “at the end of the day, the issues of home buyers and farmers are correlated because housing projects are built on land acquired from farmers. If issues related to farmers are properly addressed, it will automatically ease tensions of home buyers”.
However, the promise to allot 5% developed land will test the Authority’s resources. Kumar, who conceded that around 4,000 farmers would have to be provided land, said the Authority had several options to arrange for the land. If required, even Noida Master Plan 2021 may be changed for the purpose, he said. “After scanning the land acquisition files of 54 villages, we have come to know that around 4,000 farmers have not received 5% developed land. It’s true the Authority at present does not have enough land to give to farmers, but we have several options,” Kumar said.
He said the Authority could amend Master Plan 2021 and change land use of some areas from industrial to residential. Another option is to seek the state government’s special recommendation for allotting land in Greater Noida or Noida Extension to farmers. “Before focusing on the other options, we are calculating how much land is required to settle the issue. The authority has details of some farmers in Sorkha, Parthala Khanjarpur, Shahdara, Sadarpur, Sarfabad, Badauli Bangar and Sorkha Jahidabad, and our teams are working out an estimate of land required,” Kumar said. The chairman admitted that mistakes had been made in the acquisition process in Noida. “The agitation erupting now could have been prevented if farmers’ grievances had been properly resolved,” said Kumar.
So far as Sorkha and Parthala Khanjarpur villages are concerned, work has already started to allot developed plots to villagers. Peripheral roads to serve as boundaries are also being built around both villages. “The Authority will also construct a community centre and internal roads within these villages at estimated costs of Rs 1 crore and Rs 6 crore, respectively,” said Kumar.
“Villagers are satisfied with the move of Noida Authority. Farmers also do not want to land home buyers in trouble. And the latest action of Noida Authority will benefit lakhs of home buyers in Noida,” said Naresh Yadav, headman of Sorkha village.
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