Agra, Aug 25 (Calcutta Tube) Farmers demanding higher compensation for their land acquired for the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh began a daylong shutdown in Mathura, Agra and Aligarh districts Wednesday, threatening to disrupt road and rail traffic and asking shopkeepers to down shutters.
Security forces were also put on high alert as farmers tried to disrupt rail traffic and block highways.
‘Senior police officials in the districts are keeping a close watch to prevent farmers from damaging railway tracks. The Delhi-Agra section of the national highway is also on watch as a large number of tourists take this route,’ an official said.
Business chambers and trade associations in the area are supporting the shutdown.
The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal have planned a rally near parliament Thursday.
Farmers in Uttar Pradesh have been agitating for higher compensation for their lands acquired for the Yamuna Expressway, which is expected to reduce driving time between New Delhi and Agra to about 90 minutes. It will pass through Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar (Hathras) and Mathura districts, and involves acquisition of land in 115 villages.
A total of 2,500 hectares is 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.
The compensation amount was increased from Rs.449 per square metre to Rs.570 per square metre. But farmers refused to budge from the demand for compensation at the rate of Rs.880 per square metre that was paid in Greater Noida.