Mayawati to revive township plan along expressway

Lucknow, Nov 9 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday announced the revival of an abandoned plan to build a hi-tech township around Tappal town in Aligarh district along the 165-km Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway.

The plan was shelved following violent protests August-September by farmers demanding higher compensation for land acquired for the township.

Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said that the plan was being revived in the wake of a popular demand by those very farmers who had earlier raised objections to it.

‘A delegation of 60 farmers from Tappal called on Chief Minister Mayawati and pleaded for revival of the scheme, together with the revised compensation package offered by the government, and the chief minister has conceded their request’, said Singh.

While presenting a group of farmers at a press conference, he said: ‘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 Sep 3 for acquisition of land,’ he added.

‘With the change in the farmers’ stand, we have agreed to give them a new package,’ Singh said.

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 finalized through a negotiated settlement between the government and the land-owner, he said.

A handsome annuity at the rate of Rs.20,000 per acre for a period of 33 years, during which period there would be an annual hike of Rs.600 per acre, has been proposed, he said.

A farmer would also have the option to go for a one-time payment at the rate of Rs.2.40 lakh per acre, he said.

A total of 2,500 hectare land was to be acquired for the development of the expressway by Jaypee Associates. This included 500 hectares each in Noida, Aligarh and Agra and 1,000 hectares in Gautam Budh Nagar.

The expressway, which is expected to reduce the driving time between New Delhi and Agra to just about 90 minutes, will pass through Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida), Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar (Hathras) and Mathura.

At least two people, including a farmer, were killed in police firing in Tappal, the epicentre of the agitation, on the eve of Independence Day Aug 15.

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